Curb high rate of unintended pregnancies in Africa

Curb high rate of unintended pregnancies in Africa

23/08/19
By: Royal Uche

[LAGOS] Consistent political will from governments of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa could help curb the 14 million unintended pregnancies recorded annually in the region, a study says.

Pregnancies occurring when children are unexpected could lead to problems such as unsafe abortion, mental illness and negative quality of women’s lives, researchers from Ghana say, adding that in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) few studies have explored such pregnancies.

Continued: https://www.scidev.net/sub-saharan-africa/health/news/curb-high-rate-of-unintended-pregnancies-in-africa.html

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Kenya – Standards Are Not Enough: Policy Implementation Remains Central

Standards Are Not Enough: Policy Implementation Remains Central

August 22, 2019
By Melvine P. Ouyo

In 2013, Kenya’s Ministry of Health made the devastating decision to withdraw the Standards and Guidelines for Reducing Morbidity and Mortality from Unsafe Abortion. This caused a huge influx in untrained back street abortions, immense suffering, and the loss of countless lives. After six years of irreversible damage from this decision, Kenya’s High Court issued a clear ruling this summer: the government had violated the rights of Kenyan women and girls by withdrawing the Standards and Guidelines. It was a revolutionary moment for Kenyan communities.

The worldwide movement to give women freedom to choices first culminated at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt. The conference brought diverse views of human rights, population, sexual and reproductive health, gender equality and sustainable development. It marked a global consensus that placed human dignity and human rights—including the right to plan a family—at the heart of development.

Continued: https://www.africa.com/standards-are-not-enough-policy-implementation-remains-central/

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Ghana – Papa Ralph Hotline To Provide Quick Abortion Information

Papa Ralph Hotline To Provide Quick Abortion Information

By Raphael Godlove Ahenu
16.08.2019

Global Media Foundation, human rights media advocacy organization will soon introduce safe abortion information telephone hotlines such as Papa Ralph and Maame Esi in Ghana in helping to provide quick and adequate information on abortion and contraceptives to women especially vulnerable and hard-to-reach young girls who may be considering that option. Such measures according to GLOMEF could reduce maternal morbidity and mortality that results from unsafe abortions in Ghana.

The Founder/CEO of GLOMEF, Raphael Godlove Ahenu who made this known to media, said cultural and religious unacceptability of safe abortion as contributing factor to unsafe abortion practices in Ghana making many women especially young girls indulged in unsafe abortions because they feared the stigma that accompanied unwed pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.modernghana.com/news/950511/papa-ralph-hotline-to-provide-quick-abortion-infor.html

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South Africa – Abortion service providers face judgment from colleagues

Abortion service providers face judgment from colleagues

Health E-News
Aug 15, 2019

Lack of support for termination of pregnancy (TOP) service providers in the public health sector has led to an exodus of qualified people who can perform abortion services. Stigma and judgement from their colleagues make their working conditions so difficult that many opt to leave the service rather than continue to work in hostile environments.

According to Kgaladi Mphahlele, the Doctors Without Borders’ Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Manager in Rustenburg, North West, part of their work has been to train nurses and doctors who perform abortions, especially for women wanting them late in their pregnancy.

Continued: https://health-e.org.za/2019/08/15/abortion-service-providers-face-judgment-from-colleagues/

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Kenya – Denial of abortion services violates women’s rights

Denial of abortion services violates women’s rights
Ruling allowing abortion will reduce maternal deaths, give women right to health

by Evelyn Odhiambo
07 August 2019

Approximately seven women and girls die daily as a result of unsafe abortion whereas Sh533 million is used in treating complications related to unsafe abortion. Many of these women are left infertile or with lifelong disabilities and haemorrhage.

Girls and women in informal settlements are mostly affected, coupled with abortion-related stigma. Restrictive laws on termination of pregnancy result in women seeking services from unqualified medical personnel where the minimum cost is Sh1,500 not forgetting the limited chances of survival and complications.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/star-blogs/2019-08-07-denial-of-abortion-services-violates-womens-rights/

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RÉUNION/FRANCE – Proposal to include the right to abortion in the Constitution of France

RÉUNION/FRANCE – Proposal to include the right to abortion in the Constitution of France

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Aug 7, 2019

The island of Réunion, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa, is still a territory of France. Now, 50 members of the French National Assembly, including three from Réunion, have proposed that the right to abortion should be included in the French Constitution.

The French abortion law, the Veil Law, dates back to 1975, passed under Health Minister Simone Veil. Among the reasons that may hinder access to legal abortions today, however, despite this law, is the use of the conscience clause. In France, there is a general clause allowing “conscience” for all types of medical treatment, and a specific clause related to abortion. Feminist groups defending abortion rights have regularly called for the removal of the conscience clause for physicians in relation to abortion. On 26 June 2019, Marlene Schiappa, Secretary of State for Equality between Women and Men, described their demand as “legitimate” in a speech to the delegation for women’s rights of the National Assembly. She reported that committee had been set up in mid-June to determine what the “necessary legislative changes” should be as regards access to abortion. She stressed that it was important to allow time for this, in order to “involve all stakeholders”, according to Ouest-France.

Continued: https://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/reunion-france-proposal-to-include-the-right-to-abortion-in-the-constitution-of-france/

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Kenya – ‘We lose so many women’: the tragedy of unsafe abortion in Kibera

‘We lose so many women’: the tragedy of unsafe abortion in Kibera
With terminations outlawed in Kenya, women and girls in its largest slum have to rely on expensive and unreliable under-the-counter pills, toxic chemicals or other homemade remedies. The consequences can be fatal

Tracy McVeigh in Kibera
Mon 5 Aug 2019

Edita Ochieng sashays up in her “This is what a feminist looks like” T-shirt – bright and new in a place where clothes are aged and faded.

“Got them,” she stage-whispers, a flash of silver foil in her hand. Four pills carefully cut from a longer strip. Ochieng has just been attempting to buy abortion pills from among the numerous kiosk-sized “quack” chemists in the Nairobi slum of Kibera. Just to show how easy it is.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/aug/05/we-lose-so-many-women-the-tragedy-of-unsafe-abortion-in-kibera

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Nigeria – Why adolescents form major abortion victims

Why adolescents form major abortion victims

July 25, 2019
By APPOLONIA ADEYEMI

News of Aduke, 16 years was shocking and unbelievable. Based on profuse bleeding, from Aduke who collapsed suddenly on that fateful day, concerned persons that were sympathetic to her plight rushed her on emergency to the nearest health centre. After close examination, the care providers on duty, promptly referred Aduke who was a secondary school student to a general hospital. She had become unconscious.

Further medical tests on the patient however showed that there has been attempts to terminate a pregnancy. Doctors subsequently carried out some surgical procedures to perfect the abortion so as to save the life of Aduke. Sadly, she died on the operating theatre.

Continued: https://www.newtelegraphng.com/2019/07/why-adolescents-form-major-abortion-victims/

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Nigeria: Not left out of the global rollback of sexual and reproductive rights

Nigeria: Not left out of the global rollback of sexual and reproductive rights
“What is going on?”

23 July 2019 | By OluTimehin Adegbeye

A few weeks ago, police officers conducted a raid on a Marie Stopes clinic in Lagos. They harassed patients, temporarily detained a doctor, and illegally accessed confidential documents. Immediately following this deeply unnerving attack, which came on the trail of other anti-rights incidents involving state agents, a group of Nigerian feminists, women’s rights campaigners and LGBTQI+ activists came together to ask, “what is going on?”. In the course of the digital conversation that ensued, a consensus was reached: a strategic effort to undermine the sexual and reproductive health and rights of Nigerians is underway, and women’s bodily integrity is on the frontlines.

Nigeria’s patriarchal conservatism is hardly news; women, girls and queer folks in this country are regularly and legally denied their bodily autonomy, and the rate of sexual violence is high.

Continued: https://www.awid.org/news-and-analysis/nigeria-not-left-out-global-rollback-sexual-and-reproductive-rights

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Kenya – Abortion where mother’s health is at risk is a right

Abortion where mother's health is at risk is a right
Lack of access to safe legal abortion causes many women to resort to illegal, unsafe abortion.

by Betty Odallo, Lucy Minayo and Martin Onyango
20 July 2019

JMM was a 14-year-old schoolgirl, living in rural Kisii when sometime in 2014, she was forced to have sexual intercourse. Due to a lack of information on how to respond to the situation, or whom to approach, she was not able to receive immediate post-rape care, including emergency contraception.

Two months later, JMM discovered she was pregnant. Fearing blame and rejection from her family, she confided in a friend who took her to an untrained person who performed an unsafe abortion on her.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2019-07-20-abortion-where-mothers-health-is-at-risk-is-a-right/

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