Expanding Access to Safe Abortion in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy to Expand Access to Safe Abortion (SAFE ENGAGE)
Mar 28, 2019
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), access to safe abortion has historically been limited. Political chaos, a weak health sector, low use of contraception, and restrictive laws—that until recently made it illegal in nearly all cases—have contributed to high rates of abortion across the country. Many of these are unsafe, which contributes to the DRC’s very high maternal mortality rate. However, in March 2018 the Congolese government published the text of the Maputo Protocol in the country’s national legal journal following a concerted advocacy effort by a coalition of women’s rights groups, researchers, and nongovernmental organizations, known as Coalition de Grossesses Non Désirées. Due to the nature of the country’s legal system, this action effectively expanded the categories under which abortion is now legal in DRC.
Unsafe abortion: A forgotten emergency
Mar 7, 2019
Unsafe abortion remains one of the five leading causes of maternal mortality, despite the fact that it is almost always preventable.
More than 22,000 women and girls die each year after having an unsafe abortion, according to a comprehensive report published by the Guttmacher Institute in 2018.
Since 1990 the world has made significant progress to reduce the other main causes of maternal deaths—severe bleeding, severe infection, blood pressure disorders, and obstructed labor—yet there has been little improvement to diminish the dangers of unsafe abortion.
Africa: Unsafe Abortion - Neglected Emergency
Mar 4, 2019
Unsafe abortion still accounts for at least one in 12 maternal deaths globally. And, compared to reductions in all the other direct causes of maternal deaths since 1990 - severe bleeding, severe infection, blood pressure disorders and obstructed labour - there has been little improvement in the negative impact of unsafe abortion.
Unsafe abortion is a procedure for terminating an unwanted pregnancy either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking minimal medical standards or both, as defined by the World Health Organization. Abortion, whether safe or unsafe, is a common event worldwide: approximately one in four pregnancies ended in an induced abortion during the period 2010-2014.
"I’ve seen with my own eyes, safe abortion saves lives"
27 September 2018
Dr Manisha Kumar is a family medicine doctor and the coordinator of the Task Force for Safe Abortion Care, a project that aims to increase access to contraceptive and safe abortion care services offered by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) projects.
Before I started working at MSF field projects, I saw abortion as more of a political issue, or as an aspect of women’s rights. But now that I’ve seen women and girls in need of safe abortion, day after day, with my own eyes, I’ve come to understand abortion as a medical necessity, something that has a very real impact on people’s lives.
Legal access to abortion expands in Democratic Republic of Congo
Thursday, July 26, 2018
In an historic shift toward greater fulfillment of women’s sexual and reproductive rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), women can now legally access abortion under a broader range of conditions—including in cases of sexual assault, rape or incest, and when a continued pregnancy would endanger the mental and physical health of the woman or the life of the woman or the fetus.
“Months of advocacy by Ipas and our strategic partners in the DRC helped achieve this huge step forward for women’s rights,” says Patrick Djemo, Country Representative of Ipas DRC.
Clandestine Abortion Is Common in Kinshasa, and Procedures Are Often Unsafe
November 7, 2017
Likely a Major Contributor to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s High Number of Maternal Deaths
An estimated 146,700 abortions were performed in 2016 in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Kinshasa and the Guttmacher Institute. This translates to an abortion rate of 56 per 1,000 women of reproductive age, suggesting that abortion is very common in Kinshasa.
Continued at source: https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2017/clandestine-abortion-common-kinshasa-and-procedures-are-often-unsafe
New Study Reveals 214 Million Women Have an Unmet Need for Modern Contraception
DKT International highlights World Contraception Day as increased education and access to reproductive health services remains crucial
Sep 25, 2017
WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- New data released by The Guttmacher Institute shows that of the 885 million women living in developing countries hoping to avoid pregnancy, 214 million of those are not using contraception. DKT International, one of the largest providers of contraceptives and family planning services in the developing world, stresses the importance of World Contraception Day (September 26), held annually to raise awareness and improved access of contraceptives for women worldwide.
Continued at source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-study-reveals-214-million-women-have-an-unmet-need-for-modern-contraception-300525053.html
What It's Like to Risk Death and Jail Time to Get an Illegal Abortion
Aug 28 2017
Abortion is banned almost without exception in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but countless women still terminate their pregnancies illegally and dangerously. Fatima was one of them.
Fatima* lives with her two children in a mud brick home on the outskirts of Lubumbashi, a city in the far south of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the earth is colored red and mining industries rule the economy. Fatima, 31, used to have a husband, too, but he disappeared last year after she learned that she was pregnant with their third child. Birth control of any variety is not regularly used in the DRC.
Continued at source: Broadly: https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/evvq8k/what-its-like-to-risk-death-and-jail-time-to-get-an-illegal-abortion