The Director of Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Shamima Ali says victims of teenage pregnancy should be given a choice of abortion so that they have a chance to live their lives again.
Speaking to Fijivillage, Ali says this will make it easier for young people after counselling and they can start having dialogue on who can get an abortion.
Ali says abortion should be an option for teenage pregnancy because these young girls tend to continue to get pregnant once they are victims of it.
Ali says abortion will also allow teenage pregnancy victims to get back to school and continue with whatever they want to pursue.
Under Fiji’s Crimes Decree, a person commits an indictable offence if he or she unlawfully performs an abortion.
It also states that the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment.
The Crimes Decree states that the performance of an abortion by a medical practitioner is not unlawful if the pregnancy is a result of sexual intercourse between a parent and child, a brother and sister or a grandparent and grandchild.
Abortion by a medical practitioner is also not unlawful if the pregnancy is the result of sexual intercourse that constitutes the offence of rape under the decree.
The National Substance Abuse Advisory Council has confirmed that 47 cases of teenage pregnancies were recorded in schools last year of which 19 cases were recorded in primary schools and 28 cases were recorded in secondary schools.
This data is from 400 out of over 700 schools in Fiji.Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.