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 The S&Gs were originally instated in 2012 but withdrawn the following year.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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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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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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New report details the devastating impact of President Trump’s Global Gag Rule

New report details the devastating impact of President Trump’s Global Gag Rule

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Experts at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference discuss the impact of US funding restrictions and the need for data-driven programs and policies to increase access to safe abortion

(Vancouver, Canada) – A new report released today at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference reveals that the Global Gag Rule is reducing the quality and availability of care, particularly for marginalized communities, in four countries studied. Advocates, researchers and implementing partners discussed the findings from the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) detailing the effects of the expanded US Global Gag Rule, as well as a new evidence-gathering initiative by several partner organizations designed to increase access to safe abortion.

Continued: https://mailchi.mp/0789a23add38/press-releaseglobal-gag-rule-expansion-and-the-future-of-us-global-health-policy?e=695642389f

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Kenya – Men can play a key role in reducing unsafe abortions

Men can play a key role in reducing unsafe abortions
They should be advised on the role of contraceptives to prevent unplanned pregnancies

by Daniel Otieno, Star Blogs
24 May 2019

Many interventions relating to unsafe abortion have left out men yet their role can shape their outcome.

Information targeting men on the role of contraceptives in planning families, civic education that involves men on abortion and constitution, sensitisation on prevention of unintended pregnancies and educating men on the dangers of myths surrounding abortion will empower them to join the fight against unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortion.

Involving men as moderators in forums on contraceptives and unsafe abortion can change the attitude of the general community towards safe abortion. Then there will be other options for couples in case of unplanned pregnancy other than termination of the same.

Source: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/star-blogs/2019-05-24-men-can-play-a-key-role-in-reducing-unsafe-abortions/

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Why Death Still Stalks Pregnant Kenyan Women

Why Death Still Stalks Pregnant Kenyan Women

By DR MUKUHI NG’ANG’A
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Every day, about 830 women die due to preventable pregnancy and childbirth complications, the World Health Organisation estimates. Sadly, 99 per cent of these deaths occur in developing nations. Every year, Kenya loses over 6,000 women due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Most of these deaths occur in the rural areas. This high number of deaths is unacceptable considering that pregnancy is not a disease. No woman should die while giving life.

As part of a two-part series on leading killer conditions in Kenya, this week we have a look at conditions that can be fatal to pregnant mothers and their babies.

Continued: https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/lifestyle/fitness/Why-Death-Still-Stalks-Pregnant/4258372-5118980-2f19jb/

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Kenya – Abortion stigma pushes women to back-alley methods

Abortion stigma pushes women to back-alley methods
When society lashes out at a woman for choosing to terminate a pregnancy, they run to unsafe methods

by Michael Okun Oliech
Star Blogs
15 May 2019

Being a mother should be a choice and no woman or girl should feel obligated to have children.

Unfortunately, due to the society that we live in, the choice of motherhood for women and women’s right has been eroded by either the law, patriarchal manipulation, gender inequality, religious doctrines or culture.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/star-blogs/2019-05-15-abortion-stigma-pushes-women-to-back-alley-methods/

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Kenya – Abortion hypocrisy kills women

Abortion hypocrisy kills women

Patricia Nudi Orawo
10 May 2019

Opposition to abortion is so intense that even where women have the legal right to terminate their pregnancy, it can be extremely difficult to get the services needed to exercise that right. But, worse than that, opponents of abortion tend to ignore the failures that lead women to the point where they seek one in the first place.

From a moral standpoint, there is a strong case to be made for respecting a woman’s personal freedom and bodily autonomy, rather than forcing her to put her health or wellbeing at risk by carrying an unwanted or unsafe pregnancy to term. Yet, given how rife with misinformation and muddied by misplaced arguments the issue is, policy debates often go nowhere unless they frame abortion as a health matter.

Continued: https://mg.co.za/article/2019-05-10-00-abortion-hypocrisy-kills-women

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Anti-abortion billboards come down in Kenya, but the debate over legalization continues

Anti-abortion billboards come down in Kenya, but the debate over legalization continues

May 9, 2019
Fredrick Nzwili

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) — Thirteen billboards with provocative anti-abortion messages have been pulled down, ending a three-month campaign by a local church that divided and scandalized the Kenyan capital.

“They have brought down all of them. I am very concerned,” said Apostle Kathy Kageni-Oganga, the pastor of the Sozo Church of God, a Pentecostal church that sponsored the campaign. “There have been billboards advertising cigarettes, alcohol and others on gay issues. I don’t know why they targeted ours.”

The action has triggered a heated debate between abortion-rights and anti-abortion groups in the East African country, where the procedure is mostly illegal and the faiths strongly oppose any attempts to legalize it.

Continued: https://religionnews.com/2019/05/09/anti-abortion-billboards-come-down-in-kenya-but-the-debate-over-legalization-continues/

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