I read an article on the Guardian today about an 11 year old girl in Senegal who was raped and subsequently unwillingly had twins as a result of the fact that there is a ban on abortion in Senegal. In Senegal, the only ground upon which an abortion may be given the go ahead, is if it is to save the life of the pregnant woman – or in this case, a child. This law falls under the Criminal Code of Senegal and it means that anyone performing an abortion on a pregnant ‘woman’ whether she consents or not is subject to imprisonment for one to five years and also is landed with an enormous fine.
Reading the story of this little girl made me feel really quite sad, and although as a Christian I do not condone abortions, I am also not a supporter of the idea of not giving individuals the option and having control over their own lives. The girl talks about the different ways that having the twins will impact her life and it seems as though the negatives far surpass any positive factors. Whether or not there should be a right to have an abortion has been a contentious issue for many years and in my opinion a very well argued one too, from both corners.
I am of the opinion that every circumstance is different. Becoming pregnant as a result of a rape of an 11 year old girl is very different to becoming pregnant as a result of a drunken mistake between two fully grown adults. In the same way a wealthy woman with no kids becoming pregnant is very different to a working class single parent with six children becoming pregnant. I feel as though in situations like this, we need to promote the idea of looking at individual situations with a fresh perspective. This girl has now given birth to a set of twins to whom she is their sole responsibility. How will she continue her education effectively? How will she get over the constant reminder of what happened to her? It is such a sensitive topic.
What do you think? Should she have been given the option?