The Price of Senegal’s Strict Anti-Abortion Laws

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The Price of Senegal’s Strict Anti-Abortion Laws

By Allyn Gaestel and Ricci Shryock
Oct 1, 2017

The Mbeubeuss landfill, on the outskirts of the Senegalese capital, Dakar, feels almost volcanic to visitors. Mountainous piles of waste encircle wide craters, where trash fires spew smoke and spit ash into the sky. The odor is nauseating: decaying foods and clothes, burnt plastic and tires. Sporadically, the scent of decomposing human flesh emerges from the fetor. The bodies are those of unwanted newborn children discarded in the city, gathered by trash collectors, and found by workers at the dump. El Hajj Diallo, the president of the landfill's collective of waste pickers, told us that, because he has found so many dead babies here, he wants Senegal to legalize abortion, at least for victims of rape and incest.

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