Afghanistan: “No One Knows About My Abortion. I Feel Like a Criminal”

“No One Knows About My Abortion. I Feel Like a Criminal”
Maija Liuhto
Apr 10, 2017

Soon after leaving my abusive husband, I learned I was pregnant. To remain divorced under Afghanistan law, I had to do something that still makes me feel guilty.
A woman wearing a burqa is silhouetted against the lights illuminating an underpass in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photograph by Christian Als/Panos

Tarana, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy, is a 19-year-old woman living in Kabul, Afghanistan who recently divorced her husband and had an illegal abortion in secret. If authorities were to find out, she would either be fined or arrested.

Abortion is illegal in Afghanistan — even in cases of rape or incest — except if the mother’s life is in danger or there is a risk of the child being born with severe disabilities. The country’s birth rate is 4.8 children per woman, which is the highest in Asia (though is significantly lower than it was under Taliban rule, when girls weren’t allowed to attend school). Birth control is not illegal in the Muslim-majority country, though it is taboo and often difficult to access.

Tarana told her story in Dari through a translator to Maija Liuhto.

Continued at source: The Development Set: