Christian and Muslim leaders in Sierra Leone have called on the public to join them on a march to parliament today to demand the withdrawal of a controversial draft law on abortion.

Parliament-House-Sierra-Leone

The proposed legislation allows for pregnancy of up to 12 weeks to be terminated without reason.

This is the most controversial aspect of the bill, with religious leaders saying it is “tantamount to murder”.

Supporters of the bill says it will help end back-street abortions, which often cause the death of women.

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The draft law also says that pregnancy from 13-24 weeks can be ended only if there is a threat to the life of the mother, a fetal abnormality is detected, or if the pregnancy is as a result of rape or incest.

Parliament passed the bill unanimously in December but the president refused to sign it into law after religious leaders made representations to him.

He has sent the bill back to parliament, and religious leaders hope the march will increase pressure on MPs to kill it.