Kenya restores standards and guidelines for comprehensive reproductive health, including abortion

Kenya restores standards and guidelines for comprehensive reproductive health, including abortion

IPAS
News | Friday, June 21, 2019

Earlier this month, Kenya made progress toward advancing women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights: The High Court ruled to restore the standards and guidelines for comprehensive reproductive health, including abortion. The S&Gs were originally instated in 2012 but withdrawn the following year. The reinstatement will allow providers to offer safe abortion care when the health or life of a woman is in danger, in cases of emergency and for survivors of sexual violence. Ipas Africa Alliance partnered with the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) on a case in 2015 challenging the withdrawal. CRR filed the case on behalf of an adolescent who died after suffering from complications from an unsafe abortion. The Federation of Women Lawyers Kenya and human rights activists were also part of the coalition supporting the challenge.

“I am glad that Ipas was able to join other partners in Kenya to support the litigation strategy initiated by CRR,” said Judith Okal, Ipas Africa Alliance senior policy advisor. Okal was an advocate for the petitioner when CRR filed the case and joined Ipas after it was filed.

The court found that the Director of Medical Services and the Ministry of Health had violated the rights of Kenyan women and girls by arbitrarily withdrawing the guidelines, creating uncertainty about the status of legal abortion and discouraging medical providers from performing abortions for fear of criminal prosecution.

For more information, contact media@ipas.org.

Source: https://www.ipas.org/news/2019/June/kenya-restores-standards-and-guidelines-for-comprehensive-reproductive-health-including-abortion

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MOROCCO – Action at Ministry of Health by the Moroccan Alternative Movement for Individual Freedoms (MALI)

MOROCCO – Action at Ministry of Health by the Moroccan Alternative Movement for Individual Freedoms (MALI)

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
June 19, 2019

MALI is a feminist, universalist, secularist and pro-choice movement fighting for abortion rights. MALI held a protest action in Rabat in the evening of 24 April 2019. A French web TV station was there to film it as part of the 6th episode of a video series entitled “L’IVG c’est sacré” (Abortion, it’s sacred), made by a group of young women called Clit Revolution, who come from a number of different countries.

The MALI protest was against the failure of the parliament to reform the abortion law. They went at night to the Ministry of Health in Rabat, and put sanitary pads covered in slogans about abortion and with fake blood on the walls of the Ministry as a symbolic protest. The sanitary pads contained feminist messages such as: “My body, my rules,” “My vulva, my uterus, my decision,” and “The right to abort is a fundamental freedom.” A night guard took them down almost immediately but at least they were filmed first. There was also an interview with Betty Lachgar of MALI and comments from the group about the situation in other countries too.

The slogan of the protest was Mon Corps, Mes Règles (My Body, My Rules). (Règles means both menstruation and rules in French).

SOURCE: Morocco World News, by Margot Eliason, 1 May 2019 ; VIDEO by Clit Revolution, France TV, 16 May 2019 (contains some sexually explicit scenes in the first few minutes…)

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Source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/morocco-action-at-ministry-of-health-by-the-moroccan-alternative-movement-for-individual-freedoms-mali

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GHANA – Religious leaders in Ghana encouraged to spend time to educate their members on sex and reproductive health-related issues

GHANA – Religious leaders in Ghana encouraged to spend time to educate their members on sex and reproductive health-related issues

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
June 19, 2019

The Chief Executive Officer of Global Media Foundation, Raphael Godlove Ahenu, who gave the advice, explained that the practice where many churches, mosques and parents shy away from educating their children about sex is a major setback to the campaign against illegal abortions and teenage pregnancies. The lack of sexual and reproductive health education among most young people has led to wanton sexual exploitation, unwanted pregnancies, avoidable deaths, health complications and abuse of emergency contraceptives among others.

Mr. Ahenu was addressing separate health summits with members of ‘Lead Me To Heaven Church’ at Kwatire and Amazing Grace Chapel at Odomase, both in the Sunyani West District as part of activities marking this year’s International Day of Action for Women’s Health, 28 May.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/ghana-religious-leaders-in-ghana-encouraged-to-spend-time-to-educate-their-members-on-sex-and-reproductive-health-related-issues/

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Nigeria: 2,000 Nigerian Women Die Annually of Unsafe Abortion – Gynaecologist

Nigeria: 2,000 Nigerian Women Die Annually of Unsafe Abortion - Gynaecologist

By Urowayino Warami
18 June 2019

No fewer than 2,000 Nigerian women die of unsafe abortion annually with Northeast recording highest rate, says Dr Christopher Lamai, Head of Department, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe.

Lamai made the disclosure at the capacity building workshop for journalist on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (WSRHR) organized by Ipas Nigeria, an international NGO on Tuesday in Gombe.

Continued: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2019/06/2000-nigerian-women-die-annually-of-unsafe-abortion-gynaecologist/

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Kenya – Unsafe abortion complications eat into health budget

Unsafe abortion complications eat into health budget
Money spent on treating these complications could have been used to provide family planning services

by Daniel Otieno, Star Blogs
18 June 2019

Treatment of complications of unsafe abortion consumes a disproportionate amount of health systems resources in Kenya including staff time and acquisition of medical supplies.

Last year, severe complications from unsafe abortion accounted for 54 per cent of the total health costs. Post-abortion care also consumes a significant amount of resources that would otherwise be spent on other areas of health including reproductive, maternal and child health.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/star-blogs/2019-06-18-unsafe-abortion-complications-eat-into-health-budget/

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Tanzania: Unsafe abortion: The silent killer of young women

Unsafe abortion: The silent killer of young women

Monday June 17 2019
By Salome Gregory

Abortion in Tanzania is illegal. Being the case, it makes it harder for girls and women to get access to safe abortion. But even then, women still find their own ways to terminate unwanted pregnancies.

Have you ever asked yourself, what woman and girls go through when trying to end unwanted pregnancy? A simple survey by Your Health confirms that girls and women go through a lot of pain and suffering that sometimes leads to deaths or permanent reproductive health issues.

Continued: https://www.thecitizen.co.tz/magazine/1840564-5160470-olp0doz/index.html

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KENYA – Victory in Landmark Ruling Challenging the Withdrawal of ‘The Standards & Guidelines’

KENYA - Victory in Landmark Ruling Challenging the Withdrawal of 'The Standards & Guidelines'

13 June 2019

On 12 June 2019, the Center for Reproductive Rights won a landmark case challenging the Kenyan government’s withdrawal of the “Standards and Guidelines for Reducing Morbidity and Mortality from Unsafe Abortion in Kenya” (Standards & Guidelines). The Center filed the case on behalf of an adolescent (JMM)—who died last year after suffering from complications that resulted from an unsafe abortion—as well as the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Kenya and two community human rights advocates. The case was presided over by a five-judge bench at the Nairobi High Court.

In this ground-breaking decision, the Court found that the Director of Medical Services and the Ministry of Health had violated the rights of Kenyan women and girls by arbitrarily withdrawing the guidelines, thereby creating uncertainty as to the status of legal abortion and discouraging medical providers from performing abortions for fear of criminal prosecution. It provided a comprehensive ruling which:

Continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/kenya-victory-in-landmark-ruling-challenging-the-withdrawal-of-the-standards-guidelines?e=372dd34034

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The Center wins a major victory for abortion rights in Africa

The Center wins a major victory for abortion rights in Africa

06.12.2019

In a groundbreaking decision, the High Court of Kenya ruled that the Ministry of Health’s 2014 withdrawal of the “Standards and Guidelines for Reducing Morbidity and Mortality from Unsafe Abortion in Kenya” (Standards & Guidelines), and its subsequent ban on abortion trainings for health care professionals, were arbitrary and unlawful. The Standards & Guidelines was an important policy document that guided health care providers on when and how they could provide safe and legal abortion and post-abortion services.

With this ruling, the five-judge bench has resoundingly reaffirmed the constitutional protections for legal abortions in Kenya when the life and health of the pregnant woman is threatened, including for survivors of sexual violence, or in cases of emergency.

Continued: https://reproductiverights.org/story/center-wins-major-victory-abortion-rights-africa

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Unclear abortion laws in Uganda leave women who are raped unsure of options

Unclear abortion laws in Uganda leave women who are raped unsure of options

Posted on Jun 12, 2019 by Global Press News Service
by Nakisanze Segawa, Reporter

KAMPALA, UGANDA — When Irene hands her granddaughter a piece of bread, the six-year-old grins widely.

That smile never appears when the child’s mother is around, Irene says. “Sometimes, I feel like she senses that she is a mawemuko.”

In the Luganda language, the word “mawemuko” refers to a child conceived from incest.

Continued: http://www.seattleglobalist.com/2019/06/12/unclear-abortion-laws-in-uganda-leave-women-who-are-raped-unsure-of-options/85715

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Rwanda: How Literate are Health Care Providers about Abortion?

Rwanda: How Literate are Health Care Providers about Abortion?

By Dan Ngabonziza
June 10, 2019

Therese Mujawayezu is a 4th year medical student pursuing General Medicine at the University of Rwanda (UR).

Since childhood, she has been hearing elders describe abortion as a crime, a taboo – to be precise. As a medical student nearing completion and join the job market, Mujawayezu has been shying away whenever a subject on abortion comes up among her peers.

Continued: https://ktpress.rw/2019/06/rwanda-how-literate-are-health-care-providers-about-abortion/

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