Facing Infanticide in Senegal

Infanticide is the second most common reason women in Senegal are behind bars. While in China and India killing newborns is a mode of gender selection favoring boys, in Senegal the practice is more closely linked to shame, stirring complex trauma and justifications, writes Allyn Gaestel.

In Senegal, abortion is illegal unless a pregnancy endangers the mother’s life—and perhaps more importantly, it’s forbidden by Islam, Senegal’s main religion. So as activists push for looser abortions laws, winning over hearts and minds comes first: “We are working first on society, mentalities and acceptance," says health ministry adviser Seynabou Ba.

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