Madagascar – Tribute to Simone Veil launches national discussion on decriminalisation of abortion

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Madagascar – Tribute to Simone Veil launches national discussion on decriminalisation of abortion
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Nov 22, 2017

This is a translation into English of a blog by Mialy Randriamampianina, entitled “Vie de femmes – L’avortement, ce drame sous licence” published in L’express de Madagascar on 6 October 2017.

There are 75,000 clandestine abortions in Madagascar each year, according to data from the Ministry of Public Health, analysed by the University of Ankatso. Behind these figures, women’s lives are at stake. Abortion is still illegal and criminalised, first imposed under French colonial law.

Now, the National Council for Women of Madagascar have launched a discussion about the law on abortion. The discussion was opened on 27 September this year, during a meeting to pay tribute to Simone Veil, the French Minister who changed the abortion law in France.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/madagascar-tribute-to-simone-veil-launches-national-discussion-on-decriminalisation-of-abortion/

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Government doctors are being trained to help women in India get safe and legal abortions

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Government doctors are being trained to help women in India get safe and legal abortions
The Comprehensive Abortion Care programme is training doctors in abortion laws, medical and surgical abortion procedures, and how to counsel women.

Nov 8, 2017
Jyotsna Singh

On a busy Monday morning in June, Dr Gopal Krishna was suddenly summoned to the emergency ward of Vani Vilas Women and Children Hospital in Bengaluru where he works. He had been called to attend to Beena Kumari (name changed), a 23-year-old woman who had been admitted with profuse vaginal bleeding.

Kumari had earlier taken medicines to induce an abortion – pills of misoprostol and mifepristone that are sold at pharmacies as Medical Termination of Pregnancy kits to terminate early pregnancies. Misoprostol and mifepristone fall under Schedule H of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, which means that they can only be sold against a prescription from a registered medical practitioner. But Kumari took the pills on the direction of the pharmacist.

Continued at source: https://scroll.in/pulse/857044/government-doctors-are-being-trained-to-help-women-in-india-get-safe-and-legal-abortions

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Congo: Clandestine Abortion Is Common in Kinshasa, and Procedures Are Often Unsafe

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Clandestine Abortion Is Common in Kinshasa, and Procedures Are Often Unsafe

November 7, 2017
News Release

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

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Malawi: Slow march to reduce unsafe abortion

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Slow march to reduce unsafe abortion
James Chavula
October 27, 2017

Living in a grass-thatched hut near Mponela in Dowa, Magret Kawala knows why rural women will keep dying of backstreet abortions unless laws are relaxed.

The village heads, who reigns over almost 50 households and 250 people, counts herself “lucky to be still alive” having survived deadly complications of clandestine abortion eight years ago.

“My lastborn was only two months old when I started vomiting and feeling dizzy. I couldn’t eat. I went for checkups and a nurse confirmed that I was pregnant. I felt bad. The baby was still lactating. I didn’t know what to do really,” she recalls.

Continued at source: http://mwnation.com/slow-march-reduce-unsafe-abortion/

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SENEGAL – A young couple, both school students, sent to prison for a month for abortion

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SENEGAL – A young couple, both school students, sent to prison for a month for abortion
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Oct 20, 2017

In Senegal, abortion is illegal in all cases except to save the woman’s life; approval for inducing “therapeutic abortions” must come from three doctors, one of whom is independently assigned by the courts. Giving advice on where or how to access abortion is a criminal offence. There were an estimated 51,500 abortions in Senegal in 2012, and virtually all of them were clandestine and unsafe, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Seventy-three per cent of poor, rural women who underwent abortions had complications, compared to a third of non-poor, urban women.

According to the Senegalese Association of Women Lawyers (AJS), 16% of women in prison in Senegal are there for infanticide – including some who got pregnant following rape. One example is Ina, who was working as a domestic at the age of 16 and was raped by a security guard in the neighbourhood where she worked. She delivered alone in her mother’s home and left the dead baby in an unfinished building nearby. The police knocked on her door a few days later. She spent five years in jail.

The AJS recorded 153 cases of women in prison for this reason, with the support of the Regional Office for West Africa of the UN Human Rights Office during joint visits to the five prisons in Senegal that hold the majority of female detainees. According to the Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l’Homme (FIDH), another 22% are in prison for illegal abortion. From 2013 to 2014, the Family Child Guidance Centre recorded 420 cases of sexual abuse of girls aged 7 to 14 years. Nearly 30% of them became pregnant and, abortion not being permitted, 10-15% of them had to undergo a caesarean section because of their young age.

Senegal’s President Macky Sall said in 2015 that he may eventually support legalization of abortion in cases of rape or incest.

In September 2017, the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Dakar jailed a teenage boy and his girlfriend, both secondary school pupils, for the crimes of abortion and complicity in abortion. Without informing their parents, for fear of reprisal, the two ended their four-month pregnancy in August using a medication called “Sittotem” purchased from a clandestine pharmacy. The girl began to bleed heavily and was taken to hospital. In court, their lawyers asked for clemency so that they could continue in school. They were convicted, however, and given a month in prison each.

SOURCES: Leral.net, by Kady Faty, Ousseynou Wade, 22 September 2017 ; New Yorker, by Allyn Gaestrel & Ricci Shryock, 1 October 2017 ; OHCHR/PHOTO, 13 March 2015 ; FIDH, 28 November 2014

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Source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/senegal-a-young-couple-both-school-students-sent-to-prison-for-a-month-for-abortion/

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Lesotho: school girl dies from illegal abortion

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Lesotho: school girl dies from illegal abortion

Published on 17.10.2017
by APA News

A 15-year-old girl attending Bochaletsane High School in Mants’onyane village in Lesotho’s Thaba Tseka district was reported by police Tuesday to have died due to termination of pregnancy.Lesotho is among the 14 African countries, including Angola, Central African Republic, Congo (Brazzaville), DRC, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mauritania, Sao Tomê and Principe, Senegal and Somalia where abortion is prohibited.

Police senior superintendent Litsietsi Selimo told APA that the deceased was in past weeks confronted by her guardians about her condition, but resisted and said she would rather die than disclose the person who impregnated her.

Continued at source: https://www.journalducameroun.com/en/lesotho-school-girl-dies-from-illegal-abortion/

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The Price of Senegal’s Strict Anti-Abortion Laws

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The Price of Senegal’s Strict Anti-Abortion Laws

By Allyn Gaestel and Ricci Shryock
Oct 1, 2017

The Mbeubeuss landfill, on the outskirts of the Senegalese capital, Dakar, feels almost volcanic to visitors. Mountainous piles of waste encircle wide craters, where trash fires spew smoke and spit ash into the sky. The odor is nauseating: decaying foods and clothes, burnt plastic and tires. Sporadically, the scent of decomposing human flesh emerges from the fetor. The bodies are those of unwanted newborn children discarded in the city, gathered by trash collectors, and found by workers at the dump. El Hajj Diallo, the president of the landfill's collective of waste pickers, told us that, because he has found so many dead babies here, he wants Senegal to legalize abortion, at least for victims of rape and incest.

Continued at source: https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-price-of-senegals-strict-anti-abortion-laws

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Congo: What It’s Like to Risk Death and Jail Time to Get an Illegal Abortion

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What It's Like to Risk Death and Jail Time to Get an Illegal Abortion

Laura Kasinof
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

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Ghana: Giving her, the woman, life: Dismantling the damage abortion stigma does to young people and communities

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Giving her, the woman, life: Dismantling the damage abortion stigma does to young people and communities

Posted 24 August 2017
by Akosua Agyepong

My journey to understanding the dynamics of abortion stigma began first in Senior High School, when our School chaplain at Mass asked me a question in front of the student body “What will you do if you get pregnant?” Immediately I realized, I had never been asked that question but I knew what the answer was without thinking twice about it and I said it because it was the truth “I would abort it.”

Really, before then I hadn’t thought about getting pregnant but definitely the answer was sure, ‘Abortion’. It was then I began to realize that every other girl in my school would perhaps toe the same line as me but they won’t openly do it because they were afraid about how they were going to look in other people’s eye and that made me understand why a couple of them would rather drink a mixture of Coca Cola and ground glass than walk into a clinic for the procedure.

Continued at source: https://endabortionstigma.org/en/Making-inroads/2017/August/Giving-the-woman-life-Ghana.aspx

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Inside the Philippines’ women-run crime ring selling abortion elixirs

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Inside the Philippines’ women-run crime ring selling abortion elixirs
For poor Filipinas with unwanted pregnancies, this is what reproductive care looks like.

Patrick Winn
Aug 23, 2017

The drug deal takes place in the back of a sedan, parked near one of Manila’s most exalted cathedrals.

The dealer, Elsa — not her real name — has brought her wares in a plastic shopping bag. At my request, she dumps the illicit inventory on the backseat for inspection.

Continued at source: Global Post Investigations: https://gpinvestigations.pri.org/inside-the-philippines-women-run-crime-ring-selling-abortion-elixirs-51cd2de6cb8b

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