Reproductive Health Rights in Liberia: The Case of (Il)Legal and (Un)Safe Abortion

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Safeguarding girls’ and women’s reproductiveBruey, Veronica Fynn rights in LiberiaLiberia is an all-around lose-lose situation. Carrying a child full-term is risky and, in some instances, deadly. The United NationsUnited Nations report in 2017 shows that Liberia ranks the ninth highest of 184 countries in the world, with a maternal mortality rate of 661 per 100,000 live births. The major causes of maternal mortality in Liberia are haemorrhage, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, sepsis, and unsafe abortionUnsafe abortion. For mothers fortunate to give birth, 84.6 per 1,000 of their infants will not see their fifth birthday. There are many reasons why a prospective mother may not be able carry a pregnancy for a full-term. Sometimes the only option is to abort the pregnancy, whatever the reason. In Liberia, a woman’s choice to abort a pregnancy is restrained by law. The Liberian Penal Law—Title 26 Revised, 1976 criminalises abortion as an offense against the family. In a country with a negative annual GDP growth rate, a patient–doctor ratio of 1:15,000, a high incidence of rape cases, and a life expectancy of 64.1 years, there is no denying the challenge of securing girls’ and women’s reproductive rightsReproductive rights. Compounded by the post-war reconstruction, the recent Ebola Virus Disease crisis, and the Covid-19 pandemicCovid-19 pandemic, the need to protect girls’ and women’s reproductive health rights is ever-pressing. Drawing on the rights-based approach and feminist (legal) theory methodological analysis, the chapter examines the state and effect of (il)legal and (un)safe abortionUnsafe abortion on girls’ and women’s reproductive rights in Liberia.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Development Goals Series
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameSustainable Development Goals Series
VolumePart F2778
ISSN (Print)2523-3084
ISSN (Electronic)2523-3092


  • Abortion
  • Feminist (legal) theory
  • Feminist jurisprudence
  • Law
  • Liberia
  • Reproductive rights
  • Rights-based approach


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