Uganda: Separating morality from service

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Separating morality from service
Learning about sexual rights from Uganda

August 18, 2017
Zyma Islam

"According to the constitution nobody has the right to take a person's life, and so abortion is illegal unless authorised by a physician under health grounds.” Mondo Kyateka, Assistant Commissioner for Youth Affairs declares the official stance of the Ugandan government to a group of journalists sitting in a cramped board-room at the Gender, Labour and Social Development ministry in the capital city of Kampala. It is not an atypical stance in any way—unless required to save a mother's life, abortion is illegal in Bangladesh too, along with 52 other countries in the world.

Continued at source: Daily Star: http://www.thedailystar.net/star-weekend/separating-morality-service-1450174

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Uganda: These are the consequences of the 2017 version of US’ anti-abortion Global Gag rule

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These are the consequences of the 2017 version of US’ anti-abortion Global Gag rule
Global Gag Rule Uganda

Written by Charles Ledford, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
August 13, 2017, Quartz africa

Uganda’s highway A-109 shoots across the plain from Kampala past the occasional storefront shops and open-air kiosks common to the continent’s roadsides. After rising into the verdant tea plantations of the country’s Western Region, it passes through Fort Portal near the Congolese border. From there, a turn off the main road leaves the reasonably well-maintained tarmac behind in favor of red clay washboard and bone-shaking potholes. Finally, it devolves into a footpath running between a few dozen housing compounds in a village called Kalera.

Though Kalera is poor by western standards, it doesn’t approach the desperation found in many poorer parts of Africa. Flinty, hard-working women tend small plots of bananas, potatoes, maize and soybeans. These plots border larger fields of tea, a cash crop. Goats and chickens roam. The village teems with children. Today, at least, there are no men in sight.

Continued at source: Quartz Africa: https://qz.com/1051605/trumps-anti-abortion-global-gag-rule-and-its-impact-in-uganda/

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‘Teen Voices’ Series: Barriers To Safe Abortion In Uganda Leading To Unhealthy & Dangerous Outcomes

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‘Teen Voices’ Series: Barriers To Safe Abortion In Uganda Leading To Unhealthy & Dangerous Outcomes
June 23, 2017

This is the third post in our ‘Teen Voices’ series on GTHQ. We partnered with a non-profit organization called Women In Leadership, based out of Uganda, to help promote one of their initiatives. In the Teen Voices Program, they encourage high school girls in the rural town of Busembatia to write article about their lives, and the challenges they face as females in a largely patriarchal society. These stories are then published online, reaching an international audience.

Continued at source: Girl Talk HQ: http://girltalkhq.com/teen-voices-series-barriers-to-safe-abortion-in-uganda-leading-to-unhealthy-dangerous-outcomes/

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The Damage from Trump’s Global Gag Rule Will Be Greater in this Era of Abortion Rights

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The Damage from Trump’s Global Gag Rule Will Be Greater in this Era of Abortion Rights
By Patty Skuster
May 5, 2017

Women in Malawi are dying in silence from unsafe abortions, says Darlington Hararwa of Malawi. As the founding director of Passion for Women in Children, Hararwa is an outspoken champion of reforming Malawi’s restrictive abortion law. But his advocacy work is about to get more difficult.

President Donald Trump reinstated the global gag rule in the first days of his presidency and expanded the restriction to all recipients of U.S. global health funds. Under the global gag rule, recipients of U.S. funds cannot provide abortion services, information, or referrals and are not allowed to advocate for abortion law reform. The impact of Trump’s uniquely restrictive global gag rule on women’s health and rights will be greater than the gag rule in the past. Since President Barack Obama reversed the global gag rule at the beginning of his presidency, health workers, advocates, and governments have made significant progress toward a future where all women can realize the right to safe abortions. The reinstatement of the global gag rule will stall this progress.

Continued at source: Georgetown Journal: http://journal.georgetown.edu/the-damage-from-trumps-global-gag-rule-will-be-greater-in-this-era-of-abortion-rights/

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Uganda’s Abortion Rate Has Decreased Since 2003, but Unsafe Procedures Resulting in Complications Remain Common

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Uganda’s Abortion Rate Has Decreased Since 2003, but Unsafe Procedures Resulting in Complications Remain Common
February 14, 2017
News Release

An estimated 314,300 Ugandan women had abortions in 2013, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the U.S.-based Guttmacher Institute and Uganda’s Makerere University. This translates to a rate of 39 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–49, a significant decline from the rate in 2003, which was 51. The study also found that 93,300 women were treated across the country for complications from unsafe procedures. The annual hospitalization rate for complications from unsafe abortion is estimated to be 12 per 1,000 women aged 15–49, down from 15 per 1,000 in 2003.

Continued at source: Guttmacher Institute: https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2017/ugandas-abortion-rate-has-decreased-2003-unsafe-procedures-resulting-complications

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Africa: Experts fear higher maternal mortality rates due to reinstated Mexico City policy

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Experts fear higher maternal mortality rates due to reinstated Mexico City policy
By Deepti Agnihotri
Monday, February 13

As one of his first actions taken as president, Donald Trump reinstated what is known as the "global gag rule," and practitioners fear maternal mortality rates will now take a turn for the worse.

Trump signed the executive order reinstating what is formally known as the Mexico City policy just four days after taking office. His doing so did not come as a surprise—since the Ronald Reagan administration, the policy has been reinstated and repealed every time a new Republican or Democratic president has taken office.

The policy prohibits American family-planning funds from going to any foreign organization that provides counseling or referrals for abortion or advocates for abortion access. Critics call it the "global gag rule" because they argue it hinders doctor-patient communication, but its supporters argue that it will lead to a decrease in the overall abortion rate.

Continued at source: The Duke Chronicle: http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2017/02/experts-fear-higher-maternal-mortality-rates-due-to-reinstated-mexico-city-policy

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Uganda: When Restriction On Abortion Turns a Human Rights Issue

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Africa: When Restriction On Abortion Turns a Human Rights Issue
Jan 17, 2017, The Monitor
By Lilian Namagembe

When we meet Asyiah Nagudi, at her a single roomed rented house in Mukono District, tears flow down her cheeks as she recounts the economic hardships she has gone through in the past one year.

Nagudi says her husband abandoned her in 2015 on learning that she was pregnant with their second child.

"I cannot afford two meals a day for my two children," she says.

[continued at link]

Source,  AllAfrica.com: http://allafrica.com/stories/201701170034.html

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UN Human Rights Council says: reduce maternal mortality and amend the abortion law in Uganda

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by Safe Abortion, Nov 25, 2016

Among the recommendations the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) members made to the government of Uganda as part of its review of the country’s human rights record this year was one to revise its abortion legislation.

The Ugandan Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) and the Center for Reproductive Rights submitted a shadow letter in March 2016 to the HRC review in which they called for greater attention to all aspects of maternal mortality and morbidity and showed why less improvement has occurred than is hoped for. They also discussed the criminalization of abortion and other reproductive health services as a barrier that interferes with access to safe health care services. They also said: “While the Ugandan government has ratified the Maputo Protocol and has repeatedly recognized unsafe abortion as a leading cause of maternal mortality and morbidity, the government has entered a reservation on this article which would have expanded access to safe abortion. They also expressed concern about the ambiguity and misinformation surrounding the legality of abortion and post-abortion services.

Under Ugandan law, they say, “abortion is permitted only to preserve the life, mental and physical health of the pregnant woman. However, the Ministry of Health’s National Guidelines and Services Standards for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights expands grounds for permitting legal abortion to include cases such as sexual violence and incest and outlines comprehensive abortion and post-abortion care standards. The narrow interpretation of abortion laws by the courts and other government bodies, as well as extremely restricted access to relevant information, have resulted in misinformation about the legality of abortion among the general public, health care providers, law enforcement officers, the judiciary, and regulators… The ambiguity in the law further deters health care professionals from providing safe abortion services… [Yet] most doctors and other trained providers mistakenly believe that there is a complete prohibition on abortion. Due to this, they are reluctant to provide the comprehensive services outlined in the Reproductive Health Guidelines for fear of being subjected to criminal liability.”

In June 2015, the Ugandan Ministry of Health issued “Standards & Guidelines for Reducing Morbidity and Mortality from Unsafe Abortion in Uganda,” which contains “practical and standardized information to various stakeholders from a range of sectors that will help reduce morbidity and mortality due to unsafe abortion.” However, the publication was delayed until recently.

The Ugandan government supported a number of recommendations made at the HRC review, including that they should strengthen measures to fight against maternal mortality and morbidity with a human rights-based approach, ensure a sufficient health budget and full and equal access to health services. They said there was support for strengthening measures to address maternal deaths and ensuring access to reproductive health services, but that abortion law reform was not a priority.

SOURCE: CEHURD Shadow Letter, March 2016 ; Center for Reproductive Rights, 15 November 2016 ; VISUAL

[continued at link]

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

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Uganda Rejects Calls to Amend Its Abortion Law During U.N. Human Rights Council Review

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11.15.16 - (PRESS RELEASE) The government of Uganda rejected recommendations last week to revise its abortion legislation.

A Uganda delegation responded to a range of issues raised at the U.N. Human Rights Council—the U.N.’s main human rights body—as part of its review of the country’s human rights record. In its response, the Ugandan government signaled that although there is support for strengthening measures to address maternal deaths and ensuring access to reproductive health services, abortion law reform is not a priority.

Abortion in Uganda is legal in cases of life endangerment, yet according to 2013 research from the Guttmacher Institute over 300,00 induced abortions occur annually, with nearly 125,000 women seeking treatment for complications from unsafe abortions.

[continued at link]

Source: Center for Reproductive Rights

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Girls find their voices through “Listen To Me” clubs in grassroots communities in Uganda

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by Safe Abortion, Nov 3, 2016

From a small, slummy village in the outskirts of Kisowera in Kawempe division, on the boundary of Kampala and Wakiso district in Uganda, many adolescent girls spend the whole day sleeping. Why? Because from 6pm in the evening, this small town begins to fill up with young girls in search of survival benefits. Few girls in this area go to school, and those who do so are usually pulled out due to unwanted pregnancies before they graduate and others end up with severe complications due unsafe abortions and sometimes deaths before they turn 18.

But Majorine has different plans for her future. She wants to be a lawyer in order to defend the rights of young people in courts of law whose rights will be violated. Asked why she felt that way, after some minutes of silence, Majorine narrated how she had lost her 16-year-old close friend, who was orphaned and who had HIV but was practising positive living. Her friend was engaging in commercial sex and had failed to raise the 400,000 Uganda shillings she needed to pay for her abortion, the amount demanded by an old lady for the abortion herbs.

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

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