By Noel Ouaimane, Association Tchadienne pour le Bien-Être Familial (ASTBEF)

In my country, Chad, abortion is a crime. It is only legal if it is a question of saving a woman’s life and protecting her health. In Chad, many people face the negative consequences of unsafe abortion, particularly young women living with their parents. It’s not easy to talk about abortion and to advocate for better access to it.

It’s important therefore that we can get together to involve parents, authorities and the government to campaign for free choice at all levels. We need to show to the world, particularly the African continent, that we young people need free access to abortion.

A girl I know had an unsafe abortion – she was scared to go to the hospital because she was worried about going to jail (the law says she could be imprisoned for up to two years, and fined). Young women have been known to die from haemorrhage, infection, and poisoning from substances used to induce unsafe, illegal abortions.

Advocacy for increased access to safe legal abortion has increased in other countries but particularly in the African continent more needs to be done.

The beneficiaries of better access to abortion are not only women but also families and societies.