Kenya – Teen pregnancy: Implement dormant health policies first

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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


Another US anti-abortion extremist sticks his nose into UK’s affairs

Another US anti-abortion extremist sticks his nose into UK’s affairs

March 19, 2020
by Barry Duke

FOLLOWING our March 15 report that Roger Kiska, above, of Alliance Defending Freedom, was voicing his anger over an exclusion area outside a London abortion clinic, comes news that another American – ‘pro-life’ congressman Chris Smith, above – is demanding that the British government reverse its decision to impose UK abortion laws on Northern Ireland.

According to far-right Christian website LifeSiteNews, Smith has written to the UK Secretary of State for N Ireland calling on him to refer the province’s abortion laws back to the region’s own devolved government. In a letter co-signed by fellow members of Congress Andy Harris, Ann Wagner and Vicky Hartzler, Smith wrote:


Kenya – Lack of info on laws fuels deaths from unsafe abortion

Lack of info on laws fuels deaths from unsafe abortion
Constitution allows abortion in selected situations–for instance, if mother is in danger

by Daniel Otieno, Star Blogs
20 February 2020

In 2010, Kenya’s Constitution was changed after it was realised that many women were dying due to unsafe abortion while thousands were suffering from complications related to unsafe abortion.

The Constitution permits abortion if, in the opinion of a trained medical provider, the health of the mother is at risk or if a written law–a constitution–permits it.


Being a Feminist Gynaecologist in the Patriarchal World of Medicine | #MyGynaecStory

Being a Feminist Gynaecologist in the Patriarchal World of Medicine | #MyGynaecStory

Posted on 20 November, 2019
by Suchitra Dalvie

This piece has been published as a part of the Health Over Stigma campaign, which is aimed at dismantling the stigma surrounding sexual health of unmarried women, and demanding accountability from medical service providers for stigma-free, non judgemental sexual and reproductive healthcare services. In this piece, a senior gynaecologist who is associated with the campaign reflects on being a feminist gynaecologist in a patriarchal medical universe.

As a woman and a feminist I am beyond delighted to see this campaign!

It is time for us to claim rights over our own bodies and the narratives of our sexual and reproductive lives. It is critical to start holding accountable the systems that have ignored, oppressed and failed us repeatedly. It is vital to create a new world where this becomes the norm.


Kenya – Medics’ attitude and stigma still a barrier to safe abortion

Medics’ attitude and stigma still a barrier to safe abortion
Law permits abortion in cases where mother's health is at risk

by Daniel Otieno
Star Blogs
07 November 2019

The Constitution of Kenya permits abortion if in the opinion of a trained health care provider, the life of the woman is in danger or if a written law permits it. A written law here being any legislation passed by Parliament that permits termination of a pregnancy.

However, despite the Constitution being in place, many women still undergo unsafe abortion including going for backstreet methods and untrained midwives. The attitudes of health workers that are backed by religious values, the stigma associated with an unintended pregnancy, limited conversations between parents and adolescents, a lack of life skills education in schools and limited allocations to improving maternal health contribute to cases of unsafe abortion.


Kenya – WHO guidelines on abortion will reduce maternal death

WHO guidelines on abortion will reduce maternal deaths

by Daniel Otieno
Star Blogs
25 October 2019

In 1967, the World Health Organization highlighted unsafe abortion as a health issue affecting women.

However, it wasn’t until 1987 when the safe motherhood conference was held in Nairobi that the world understood unsafe abortion as a public health concern. At the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo in 1994, governments again identified unsafe abortion as a public health concern and pledged their commitment to reducing the need for abortion through expanded and improved family planning services.