Kenya split over campaign to give women the right to safe abortions
MP Esther Passaris says lives are being put at risk in a country where 40% of pregnancies are unplanned
Ginger Hervey in Nairobi
Tue 17 Mar 2020
The pills arrived with no instructions. Delivered on a Sunday to Joy’s home in Kayole, an informal settlement in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, by someone she didn’t know.
She had ordered them because she was pregnant, and didn’t want to be. At 19, she said, she couldn’t support a baby, and the father had stopped answering his phone after she told him. Desperate, she had asked an older friend, who said she knew someone who could help.
Deadly secrets and rise of abortion in marriages
A significant number of women who procure abortion for the first time are likely to do it again
By KINUTHIA MBURU
Feb 25, 2020
Evelyn Wambui (not her real name) had her career and family life all planned out. She wanted to have three children and a stable career by the age of 36. Everything had gone according to plan by the time she gave birth to her third born in February 2018. She had a good career as a human resource manager at an insurance firm in Nairobi. She was also married with two children aged eight and five years. Six months after the birth of her third born, Evelyn started taking birth control pills. “Pills were my most favourable option at the time. I was not ready to use an intrauterine coil. I had also ruled out the Jadelle levonorgestrel implant because of previous heavy menses and constant spotting,” she says.
Having taken her pills faithfully, Evelyn was shocked when she started to miss her periods last year. It started in August, a year after she started taking the pills. “I was not alarmed at first. I had taken my pills well and there was no way I could have been pregnant,” she says. But she knew something was wrong when she missed her periods for the second month in a row. “I became very anxious. I wanted to take a test, but I was afraid. I decided to wait it out for another month,” she adds.
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.
The global gag rule on abortion and reproductive health care must be repealed
By Ami Bera and Melvine Ouyo, Special to The Sacramento Bee
February 19, 2020
Last month marked three years since President Donald Trump reinstated and expanded the Global Gag Rule, jeopardizing life-saving global health programs and making it even harder for people in developing countries to access crucial reproductive health care – care that we know saves lives.
Under this abhorrent policy, health care providers are barred from receiving desperately-needed financial assistance if they offer abortion-related services or counseling – even if they offer those services with non-U.S. funds.
Study reveals over 500,000 abortions are done yearly across the country
Most of these abortions are usually unsafe and result in various complications.
By WANJA MBUTHIA
Feb 18, 2020
While Kenya has made remarkable strides in several health indicators over the last few years, maternal mortality and morbidity remain a menace. A significant number of these deaths result from complications arising from unsafe abortions.
A nationwide study by the African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other partners has revealed that over half a million abortions are procured in Kenya every year.
There’s Nothing “Pro-Life” About Trump’s Opposition to Abortion Rights
By Tatiana Cozzarelli, Left Voice
Published January 26, 2020
As Senators sat listening to hours upon hours of impeachment proceedings, considering the possibility of removing the president from office, Donald Trump began campaigning for a second term. Yesterday, that meant being the first sitting president ever to attend and speak at the March for Life. Trump said it was a “profound honor” to be the first president to attend, and assured that “unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House.” Similar to his campaign rallies, at the end of Trump’s speech, the crowd erupted into a chant of “four more years.”
The March for Life is a large annual march against the right to an abortion, which began in 1974 after the passing of Roe v. Wade. Every year, thousands of people walk to the Supreme Court to demand the overturn of Roe v .Wade. The Catholic Church and Evangelical churches mobilize thousands of people to the march.
Why universal health coverage must include abortion
Friday, January 24, 2020
Abortion is health care, and health care is a human right. That’s why efforts to advance universal health coverage (UHC)—an international effort to guarantee that all people, regardless of where they live, have access to essential, quality health services without financial hardship—must include strong language defining sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion care, as an integral part of health and well-being. Ipas is committed to working with the World Health Organization, governments and other partners to attain the Sustainable Development Goal targets, which include achieving UHC.
“The world still has far to go to achieve gender equality,” said Ipas Senior Technical Manager for Community Engagement Tanvi Monga in a recent opinion for Global Health Now. “Women shoulder the burden of child care, elder care, household care, family health and health-care costs—and for poor or near-poor women anywhere in the world, health-care costs can cause irrevocable financial strain.” Plus, health-care services labeled as “for women” are frequently separated from other services—and are harder to access or more expensive.
Research on causes of unsafe abortion will reduce related deaths
The Constitution of Kenya is already clear on the situations abortion is permitted.
by Daniel Otieno, Star Blogs
14 January 2020
Several factors are responsible for the rising cases of unsafe abortion in sub-Saharan Africa.
First and foremost is that governments have not invested in systematic reviews of the main contributors that make young women procure unsafe abortion. In addition, peer pressure, abandonment by a spouse, limited knowledge on the situations abortion is permitted, inaccessibility to family planning methods and unintended pregnancy contribute to rising cases of unsafe abortion.
Women shy away from morning-after pill for fear of being judged by health workers
Healthcare workers accused of making it uncomfortable for women to access contraceptive
By ANGELA OKETCH
Dec 18, 2019
How often do you buy an emergency contraceptive pill from either a chemist or a hospital? Do you need to consult the pharmacist to be given the pill or is it on a pay and take basis?
Maureen Kerubo says she had to change her picking point for the pills because of the many questions she was asked whenever she went to collect the pills. “Initially, I would walk to a government facility next to my house to pick the pill because of privacy issues, and it was also free.”
Opinion: Time to put abortion top of the SRHR agenda
By Anu Kumar
09 December 2019
Just a couple of weeks ago, I attended the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, which marked the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo in 1994. The trip was particularly meaningful to me, having been at the Cairo meeting where 179 governments made women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights a priority goal of global development.
The anti-rights opposition movement called it “the abortion summit,” but in truth, it was far from it. In my opinion, that’s a shame, because we — the global health, sexual and reproductive health, and development fields — need an abortion summit.