Jailing of Teen Sparks Calls for Reform of Indonesia Abortion Laws

Activists have welcomed the release of a 15-year-old girl from jail on the Indonesian island of Sumatra on “humanitarian grounds” following her arrest for a home abortion after being repeatedly raped by her older brother.  They worry, however, that proposed changes to the nation’s criminal code will reinforce the criminalization of abortion, target sexual minorities and even outlaw disseminating information about contraception. The victim, identified by authorities by her initials WA, was initially given a six-month jail sentence by the Muara Bulian district court in the province of Jambi for aborting a fetus eight months into her pregnancy. Her mother is also facing charges for allegedly assisting her daughter with the abortion. WA was charged with violating Indonesia’s Child Protection Law after local residents found a fetus in a palm oil plantation. Her 18-year-old brother who raped her nine times and threatened to harm her if she resisted was meanwhile...


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