Kenya – Explainer: Reproductive Healthcare Bill, 2019

Every person has the right to the highest attainable standard of health.

by HENRY MAKORI
21 September 2020

Opinion is sharply divided over the Reproductive Healthcare Bill, 2019 that is before Parliament. It has led to strong exchanges between supporters and opponents.

The sponsor of the Bill, Nakuru Senator Susan
Kihika, explains in the Memorandum of Objects and Reasons that the proposed law
is meant to actualise the constitutional guarantee that every person has the
right to the highest attainable standard of health, including the right to
reproductive healthcare (Article 43).

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/2020-09-21-explainer-reproductive-healthcare-bill-2019/


Protecting women’s health during a pandemic

Médecins Sans Frontières
Posted 21 Aug 2020

“If you think about times of crisis—whether it’s disease, displacement, or conflict—women and girls are often disproportionately affected,” says Eva De Plecker, a midwife and head of the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) working group on reproductive health and sexual violence. MSF teams on the ground are seeing that the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception.

“While we are still learning about COVID-19
and how pregnancy may be affected by the virus,” De Plecker says, “experience
from past epidemics such as Ebola has shown that the shutdown of services
unrelated to the outbreak resulted in more deaths than the disease itself.”

Continued: https://reliefweb.int/report/world/protecting-womens-health-during-pandemic


ASAP Project: Transforming COVID-19 Into an Opportunity

FIGO’s Advocating for Safe Abortion Project (ASAP) - celebrating achievements and transforming COVID-19 into an opportunity.

13 August 2020
Olga De Biaggio – ASAP Senior Project Manager

Since its inception in April 2019, the Advocating for Safe Abortion Project (ASAP) has made some clear progress towards strengthening access to safe abortion for women and girls. Every year more than 35 million women have abortions in unsafe conditions, and the need for this intervention, as well as for the prioritisation of essential sexual and reproductive health services in general, could be exacerbated even further by the COVID-19 pandemic. For these reasons, the five strategies used by ASAP are today even more relevant than ever.

Strengthen management and organisational capacity of FIGO’s member societies

All 10 member societies involved in the project have successfully established a Project Management Unit (PMU) and equipped it with the right skills to implement the ASAP’s activities. The project team at FIGO HQ supported capacity building efforts through developing key resources, conducting monitoring visits and trainings, facilitating experience sharing, and providing continuous support remotely in the areas of project management, advocacy, communication and M&E.

Continued: https://www.figo.org/news/asap-project-transforming-covid-19-opportunity


Brazil: Access to abortion during Covid-19

July 29, 2020 (International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion)

An initiative to help women to have a safe, legal abortion: a network of women, proactive, advocating for the decriminalisation of abortion in Brazil. An initiative of mutual solidarity: horizontal and self-sustaining.

by Maíra Marques, Director of Communications, Milhas Pela Vida das Mulheres

During the morning of 21 October 2019, a 31-year-old woman (J.) was admitted to the Pérola Byington Hospital in downtown São Paulo (SP), where she had an appointment for psychiatric counselling. A victim of gang rape, she had been receiving treatment for 20 days. Once again, she passed by the tents of “40 Days for Life in SP”, a group of anti-abortion activists who had decided to settle there during the Covid-19 quarantine, trying they said, to convert health professionals and women who have come to the hospital for a legal termination of a pregnancy. According to a report by the Public Journalism Agency, J. attempted to talk to the group that morning, to tell them her story, but without success. Instead, she was beaten up by these militants, some of whom were women, who punched her and put her in a headlock. These violent acts were witnessed by a lawyer, who accompanied her to the nearest police station.

Continued: https://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/blog/brazil-access-to-abortion-during-covid-19/


Anti-Abortion Activists Are Idiotically Urging Democrats to Cater to Their Whims

By Hemant Mehta
July 24, 2020

According to the Associated Press, more than 100 anti-abortion activists organized by the group Democrats for Life, most of whom are Christian, are asking the Democratic Party to be more anti-abortion in order to placate their desire to force women to give birth against their will.

    … the group of Christians calls on the Democratic Party to rescind its platform’s support for ending restrictions on federal funding for abortion. That language was added to the party’s 2016 platform, to the frustration of anti-abortion Democrats. Last year, Joe Biden, the Democrat’s presumptive presidential nominee, shifted his position to back an end to restrictions on government funding for abortion.

Continued: https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2020/07/24/anti-abortion-activists-are-idiotically-urging-democrats-to-cater-to-their-whims/


Kenya – Teen pregnancy: Implement dormant health policies first

A problem we'd rather ignore than confront and find solutions to.

by JEDIDAH MAINA

01 July 2020  

It is ironic that the moral police in Kenya tend to speak the loudest about
potential dangers rather than actual moral failures. This is evident in the
current conversations around teenage pregnancy and what we need to do to deal
with the problem.

One red hot coal in the debate is Comprehensive Sexuality Education, and
whether it is the solution or just another doorway to more sexual
irresponsibility.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/columnists/2020-07-01-teen-pregnancy-implement-dormant-health-policies-first/


Kenya – Menstruation, sex, and abortion do not stop for pandemics

Menstruation, sex, and abortion do not stop for pandemics
Comprehensive access and uptake of the above care and services will ensure we are not fighting another pandemic post-coronavirus.

by ALVIN MWANGI, Star Blogs
28 May 2020

With the rise in the number of coronavirus infections in the country, the health system risks being over-stretched to levels that the Ministry of Health might not contain.

Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi has said the government is concerned with reports that many Kenyans have stopped going to hospitals for fear of contracting Covid-19. Among the affected services is reproductive health.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/star-blogs/2020-05-28-menstruation-sex-and-abortion-do-not-stop-for-pandemics/


Can She make her safe choice in times of Covid-19?

Can She make her safe choice in times of Covid-19?

14 April 2020
Author: Saskia Hüsken | Function: Senior Technical Advisor

In early March, as we marked International Women’s Day and SheDecides Day, with various marches and community outreach activities for women’s rights, the Covid-19 virus started to spread across the world. Now that infection rates are soaring, death figures are rising in Asia, Europe, and the US, an increasing number of countries, also in Africa, are now in complete or partial lock-down. The need to protect women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and their access to safe abortion services becomes more dire than ever. Not only is abortion regularly marked as "non-essential", for example in several states in the US, but the pressure on service providers worldwide is severely increased due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Since mid-2018, Rutgers is implementing the programme She Makes Her Safe Choice, funded by the Dreamfund of the Nationale Postcode Loterij and in partnership with DKT International and several other partners. The programme applies a multi-component approach and works to prevent unsafe abortions in different geographic locations and at various levels, with complementary activities on Supply, Demand, and Support. While it is early days and everyone is struggling how to deal with the Covid-19 crisis, it is clear that also for the She Makes Her Safe Choice programme, impacts will be felt and the reality on the ground will forever be changed.

Continued: https://www.rutgers.international/news/blog-archive/can-she-make-her-safe-choice-times-covid-19?destination=SafeChoiceNews%3F


UK – Access to remote abortion services should not be temporary

Access to remote abortion services should not be temporary

April 2, 2020
BMJ Blogs

Remote abortion care should always be offered to ensure the health of women, irrespective of whether there is a pandemic, argue Elizabeth Chloe Romanis and Jordan Parsons

On 30 March 2020, the Department of Health and Social Care liberalised abortion regulations, allowing women in England to be consulted about abortion care remotely and to take both abortion medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, at home. This same change had already been made the previous week, but was then revoked within a couple of hours. The Scottish and Welsh governments both followed suit on 31 March 2020 and have also authorised the remote prescription of abortion pills and for both pills to be taken at home. Before these interventions, women were required to attend clinics in order to access treatment that could have safely been provided remotely—a stance that was paradoxical during the pandemic.

Continued: https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/04/02/elizabeth-chloe-romanis-jordan-parsons-access-remote-abortion-services-should-not-temporary/


Pratigya Campaign: overcoming access barriers to safe abortion in India

Pratigya Campaign: overcoming access barriers to safe abortion in India

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Mar 30, 2020

This blog post was written before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Women’s ability to access safe and legal abortion is restricted in law or in practice in many countries around the world. As a result, tens of thousands of women die every year due to the complications arising from unsafe abortion. Access to safe abortion is not just a basic reproductive right, but also an integral part of a woman’s bodily autonomy and integrity.

In India, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 (“MTP Act”) allows women to undergo an abortion up to 20 weeks, subject to certain conditions. The legislation is outdated as it has not kept up with the changing discourse on sexual and reproductive rights and advancements in medical technology. It is estimated that 15.6 million abortions take place annually in India[1], however, there are just 60-70,000 providers who can legally provide abortions under the MTP Act[2] which inevitably leads to a considerable number of unsafe abortions.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/blog/pratigya-campaign-overcoming-access-barriers-to-safe-abortion-in-india/