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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Nigeria – Chemist remanded for allegedly performing abortion

Chemist remanded for allegedly performing abortion

Published March 4, 2019

An Ado-Ekiti Magistrates’ Court on Monday remanded a 40-year-old chemist, Folake Oluwafemi, who allegedly performed an abortion that led to death.

The defendant, whose address was not provided, was charged with manslaughter before Magistrate Omolola Akosile

Continued: https://punchng.com/chemist-remanded-for-allegedly-performing-abortion/

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Zimbabwe – Inside the illegal abortion market: ‘I nearly touched hell’

Inside the illegal abortion market: 'I nearly touched hell'
Zimbabwe’s tight abortion laws aren’t curbing demand, they’re driving them underground — and it’s about to get worse.

29 Jan 2019
Wendy Muperi

Tapiwa Chiwenga was two months pregnant when she slipped the pink pills inside herself, lay down on her bed, and prayed they would do their job.

They had to.

She was 22. Her boyfriend, a foreign student in Zimbabwe on a scholarship, loved her fiercely. But he was broke. So was she. She lived with her cousin and didn’t have a job. A baby simply was not in the cards.

Continued: https://bhekisisa.org/article/2019-01-29-00-illegal-abortions-zimbabwe-shut-down-what-is-the-gag-rules-impact-contraception

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Dominican Republic: Abortion Ban Endangers Health

Dominican Republic: Abortion Ban Endangers Health
Criminal Penalties Violate Rights

November 19, 2018

(Santo Domingo) – The Dominican Republic’s total ban on abortion threatens women's health and lives and violates their rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Abortion is illegal in the Dominican Republic in all circumstances, even when a pregnancy is life-threatening, unviable, or the result of rape.

The 78-page report, “‘It’s Your Decision, It’s Your Life’: The Total Criminalization of Abortion in the Dominican Republic,” documents that women and girls facing unwanted pregnancies have clandestine abortions, often at great risk to their health and lives. Many experience health complications from unsafe abortions, and some die. Some women and girls face abuse, neglect, or mistreatment by healthcare providers. The ban does not stop abortion but drives it underground and makes it less safe. As a starting place toward meeting the country’s human rights obligations, Congress should decriminalize abortion in three circumstances.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/11/19/dominican-republic-abortion-ban-endangers-health

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Kenya – How conmen are minting millions in risky abortion procedures

How conmen are minting millions in risky abortion procedures

The Nairobian
By Jeckonia Otieno
Nov 11, 2018

Carol paid Sh10, 000 and was given four pills and instructed to swallow two [Photo: Courtesy]

Carol, 20, almost became a static because of an orgasm. “I had to get rid of the pregnancy. I am still waiting to join college and my parents would have been mad had they known,” Carol revealed.

A friend advised her to visit a private doctor within the Nairobi CBD, where she was charged a consultation fee of Sh3, 000.

Continued: https://www.sde.co.ke/thenairobian/article/2001302295/how-conmen-are-minting-millions-in-risky-abortion-procedures

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MADAGASCAR: We can prevent women dying

MADAGASCAR: 28 SEPTEMBER REPORT – Nous pouvons éviter que des femmes meurent (We can prevent women dying)

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Oct 30, 2018

by Lovatiana Andriamboavonjy, Nifin’akanga, Madagascar

In Madagascar, the Minister of Public Health announced that an estimated 75,000 abortions take place per year in the country, that there is one abortion per ten live births and based on data from East Africa, there are about 575 deaths from complications of unsafe abortion on the Madagascar mainland per year. Complications of unsafe abortion are the second highest cause of maternal deaths registered in the health system, after antenatal and post-partum haemorrhage. In a study at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Gynécologie-Obstétrique Befelatanana in 2012-13, there were 360 cases of complications of unsafe abortion, with a fatality rate of 4.16%. According to another study in this same hospital in 2011-12, the majority of those treated for complications were aged 15-24 years, with the age range being 15-43 years of age. 70% of cases were due to haemorrhage, and 30% due to sepsis. But these data do not reflect the reality outside of hospital clinics, where many women never seek treatment and die of post-abortion complications. These problems are all due to abortions being prohibited in the law, and take place clandestinely, using unsafe, often traditional methods.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/madagascar-28-september-report-nous-pouvons-eviter-que-des-femmes-meurent-we-can-prevent-women-dying/

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Ghana – 53,114 abortion cases recorded in government hospitals in 2017

53,114 abortion cases recorded in government hospitals in 2017

29 October 2018

Medical Doctors in Ghana are worried over increasing unsafe abortion cases in the country. Almost 45 percent of abortions in Ghana remain unsafe amidst high number of abortion cases.

The Ghana Health Service has indicated that a total of 53,114 abortion cases were carried out in 2017 alone in government hospitals across the country. Globally, 25 million unsafe abortion cases occur every year, according to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Continued: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/health/53-114-abortion-cases-recorded-in-government-hospitals-in-2017-696181

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Abortion – Where is Sri Lanka On The Spectrum?

Abortion – Where is Sri Lanka On The Spectrum?
“If you are not in favour of legal abortion, then you are in favour of illegal abortion” - Prof. Arulkumaran

Saira Meyler
on 09/02/2018

On October 28, 2012, Savita Halappanavar, a young Indian dentist, died in Ireland due to a septic miscarriage. This created major uproar in Ireland because she had requested an abortion at an earlier stage in the pregnancy but was denied her request because the medical team did not judge her life to be in danger (the law in Ireland was that an abortion could only be granted if the mother’s life was at risk). The campaign that followed culminated in a referendum in Ireland earlier this year, where nearly two in three Irish voters opted to change the current law. The referendum also saw the highest turnout for a ballot on social issues. The amendment that is currently being discussed will allow for terminations in the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy, and up to 24 weeks for exceptional circumstances.

In November 2012, former President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Professor Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, was appointed by the Ireland Health Services as the Chair of a panel inquiry into the death of Savita Halappanavar. Arulkumaran recently visited Sri Lanka, and on August 9 spoke at a discussion on unsafe abortions, organised by the Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka.

Continued: http://groundviews.org/2018/09/02/abortion-where-is-sri-lanka-on-the-spectrum/

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Philippines – Right to Safe and Legal Abortion, Divorce, Marriage Equality and Women’s Affirmative Action Missing in PDu30 SONA

Right to Safe and Legal Abortion, Divorce, Marriage Equality and Women’s Affirmative Action Missing in PDu30 SONA

July 23, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Quezon City, July 23, 2017 – “In President Duterte’s SONA speech, the rights to safe and legal abortion, divorce, marriage equality and women’s affirmative action were blatantly missing. If we recall, after the recent President’s meeting with the CBCP, it was mentioned in the news that President Duterte and the CBCP were in agreement as regards the issues on divorce, abortion, and marriage equality. It is unfortunate that the passage of laws that would have far-reaching impact on the rights of women and LGBTI people were absent in his speech,” said Atty. Clara Rita Padilla, Executive Director of EnGendeRights.

“In the draft Constitution that the President is supporting, no woman sits in the Consultative Committee and it is no surprise that the draft itself does not contain affirmative action ensuring women’s representation in Congress and the proposed Constitutional Courts, among others. The Filipino populace would eventually reject this draft as the mere process of drafting itself is questionable as women were left out in the process and women’s rights are glaringly absent in the draft,” said Atty. Padilla.

“For instance, since Philippine jurisprudence recognizes that therapeutic abortion is allowed to save the life of the woman as held in the 1961 Supreme Court case of Geluz v. CA, it is high time that Congress repeal the restrictive provisions in the Revised Penal Code to expressly allow safe and legal abortion on demand or at the very least on various grounds such as risk to the health and life of the woman, rape, fetal impairment, and other reasons the woman might want to seek abortion such as socio-economic reasons, among others,” added Atty. Padilla.

“In the 2017 SONA, President Duterte mentioned that he was against abortion, however, there are many cases where therapeutic abortion can be allowed to save the life of a woman or to prevent disability. Pregnant women with conditions such as dwarfism, hypertensive disorders, tuberculosis, diabetes, bronchial asthma, goiter, HIV, malaria, severe anemia, malnutrition, and pregnant women who are less than 18 or greater than 35 years of age, have a fourth or more children, are battered by their husbands or partners, and have spinal metal plates may die from complications from pregnancy and childbirth and may need access to safe abortion to save their lives and prevent life-long disability,” added Atty. Padilla.

“There are women who become suicidal because of their pregnancy. These include rape victim-survivors who suffer depression, become suicidal, and resort to clandestine and unsafe abortion. Some incest rape victim-survivors who became pregnant after being raped by their own fathers whether adolescents or adults have resorted to clandestine and unsafe abortion risking their health and lives. About one in every nine Filipino women who induce abortion are rape victim-survivors. Without access to safe and legal abortion, they end up part of the statistics of women who die from unsafe abortion complications. These cases fall under the ambit of therapeutic abortions to save the life and health of the woman,” explained Atty. Padilla.

“Because of lack of access to safe and legal abortion in the Philippines, in 2012, there were about three Filipino women who died every day from complications from unsafe abortion. Many women report being treated inhumanely when they are rushed to the hospitals to get treatment for complications for their self-induced abortions. And because of the restrictive abortion law and judgment passed on women, it is not only the women who induce abortions who are treatly harshly but also women who suffer complications from spontaneous abortions, miscarriages after being beaten by their abusive husbands, and fetal death. I hope our representatives in the Philippine government will realize how these human rights violations are so pervasive in our society and they just simply can’t turn a blind eye on this important issue. I hope the Philippines will soon decriminalize abortion since presently abortion is only recognized in our country to save the woman's life and for medical necessity based on a 1961 supreme Court decision,” added Atty. Padilla.

Abortion is common in the Philippines with about 70 women inducing abortion every hour and about 11 women hospitalized every hour from unsafe abortion complications in 2012. The number of women who have induced abortion in 2018 would be significantly higher since the number of women inducing abortion increases proportionally with the growing Philippine population.

Unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal death and is a leading cause of hospitalizations.

There are various reasons why Filipino women undergo abortion. Filipino women induce abortion due to various reasons such as:
- Economic
- Inability to afford the cost of raising a child or an additional child –75% of the women
- Too soon (having enough children or their pregnancy came too soon after their last birth) – more than half of the women
- Age/Too young – 46% were women younger than 25
- Health risks – nearly one-third of the women
- Rape - 13% of the women
- Pregnancy not supported by Partner/Family - one-third of the women

Most of the women who are hospitalized and die from complications from unsafe abortion are poor, Roman Catholics, married, with at least three children, and have at least a high school education. Poor women comprise two-thirds of those who induce abortion, using riskier abortion methods, thus disproportionately experiencing severe complications —clearly showing that lack of access to safe abortion is a social justice issue.

The archaic Spanish colonial law on abortion in our 1930 Revised Penal Code has not decreased the number of women who induce abortion rather it has made it dangerous for women who resort to clandestine and unsafe abortion.***

Contact Person:

Atty. Clara Rita “Claire” A. Padilla
Executive Director
EnGendeRights, Inc.
Mobile: (+63)918-2182682
Email: engenderights@gmail.com;
padillaclara@yahoo.com
Blog: http://clararitapadilla.blogspot.com
Like us: https://www.facebook.com/engenderightsphilippines
Twitter: @Clara Rita Padilla

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New Zealand: Still pregnant after my abortion

Still pregnant after my abortion

NAME WITHHELD
June 27 2018

When I fell pregnant, it was something I'd always longed for. I'd met someone I wanted to be with forever. When I found out I was pregnant, I said to him that I'd only have this child if he was part of their life no matter if we were together or not.

We both eventually agreed to go through with the pregnancy and my excitement was uncontrollable. But as soon as we agreed to keep the precious baby, it all got taken away from me. I found out he wasn't who I thought he was.

Continued: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/105002035/still-pregnant-after-my-abortion

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