Indonesian Teenager Sent To Jail For Getting Abortion After Being Raped By Her Brother

A 15-year-old girl from Indonesia was sentenced on Thursday to six months in jail after she was reportedly raped by her 17-year-old brother.

According to a report from theGuardian, both siblings were sentenced together on Thursday, with the brother receiving two years in jail for sexual assault of a minor. Newsweek noted that the boy had admitted to raping his younger sister “at least” eight times and threatening to inflict physical violence if she turned down his sexual advances. The girl, on the other hand, will be serving a six-month prison sentence for violating Indonesia’s child protection law through her abortion, with her mother, who helped with the procedure, also being charged separately for her role.

Although it might already seem extreme for some people that a minor who had an abortion will be serving a jail sentence of a few months, The Guardian further noted that prosecutors are planning to appeal the decision so that the siblings receive even stiffer sentences; one year for the 15-year-old girl, and seven years for her brother. Both brother and sister were arrested in June after authorities found a male fetus at a palm oil plantation in the province of Jambi.

Per Indonesian law, abortion is prohibited in almost all cases, with the only exception being if the woman’s life is in danger, and “under certain circumstances” if she is raped, according to The Guardian. It is also required that a registered medical professional perform the procedure six weeks into the pregnancy or earlier and that the patient goes through counseling. In the unnamed Indonesian girl’s case, she reportedly underwent the procedure about six months after she first became pregnant.

According to Newsweek, women who undergo abortions in Indonesia and are in violation of the above requirements could spend up to four years in prison, while abortion providers who are not compliant to laws could face sentences of more than five years.

Abortion laws in Indonesia have often been described as draconian and restrictive, with many women in the country left with no choice but to visit illegal clinics to undergo the procedure and deal with the risks that come with such options. Newsweek cited a study from the Guttmacher Institute, where at least one woman told researchers that they knew of friends who had died after they visited “traditional healers” and were given something to drink to induce the abortion. Such induced abortions, the institute added, are believed to be responsible for about 14 to 16 percent of all maternal deaths in Southeast Asia.