Expanding Access to Safe Abortion in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Expanding Access to Safe Abortion in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy to Expand Access to Safe Abortion (SAFE ENGAGE)

Mar 28, 2019

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), access to safe abortion has historically been limited. Political chaos, a weak health sector, low use of contraception, and restrictive laws—that until recently made it illegal in nearly all cases—have contributed to high rates of abortion across the country. Many of these are unsafe, which contributes to the DRC’s very high maternal mortality rate. However, in March 2018 the Congolese government published the text of the Maputo Protocol in the country’s national legal journal following a concerted advocacy effort by a coalition of women’s rights groups, researchers, and nongovernmental organizations, known as Coalition de Grossesses Non Désirées. Due to the nature of the country’s legal system, this action effectively expanded the categories under which abortion is now legal in DRC.

Continued: https://www.prb.org/program/expanding-access-to-safe-abortion-in-the-democratic-republic-of-congo/


Rwanda – Sexual and reproductive health and rights are fundamental human rights

Sexual and reproductive health and rights are fundamental human rights

By Jenny Ohlsson
Published : December 10, 2018

On Human Rights Day 2018, I would like to put the spotlight on the many women that die every year because some of their most fundamental human rights are not respected.

I would also like to convey my sympathies to the many daughters, sons, mothers, fathers and siblings that has lost, and will lose, a loved one. But also to our societies that will continue to lose so many brilliant minds and changemakers – all in vain – unless we implement the necessary reforms. Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are not only human rights, but a matter of life and death.

Continued: https://www.newtimes.co.rw/opinions/sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights-are-fundamental-human-rights


CONFERENCE REPORT – Decriminalisation of Abortion, Medical Abortion and Advocacy for Change

CONFERENCE REPORT - Decriminalisation of Abortion, Medical Abortion and Advocacy for Change
Oct 26, 2018

Three Discussion Workshops
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At: 3rd Abortion & Reproductive Justice Conference: The Unfinished Revolution
Rhodes University, Makhanda, South Africa, 9-12 July 2018

Report by Marge Berer with Christina Boateng and Pauline Diaz, 25 October 2018

This is an informal report of a set of three workshops, facilitated by Marge Berer, that took place over three days with almost 10 hours of in-depth discussion and sharing of information and experience among the participants. This report was written by Marge Berer, International Campaign Coordinator, and is based on notes taken by Christina Boateng, Pauline Diaz and several other participants.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Report-of-an-International-Campaign-Workshop-Abortion-Reproductive-Justice-Conference-South-Africa-9-12-July-2018.pdf cons


Uganda’s untold abortion story

Uganda’s untold abortion story

October 24, 2018
Written by Zurah Nakabugo

One Margaret, 26, is among many Ugandan women who are at risk of suffering severe complications arising from unsafe abortion.

Margaret, a resident of Kazo Angola zone in Kampala, recently told The Observer that she almost died while terminating her pregnancy using local herbs. She was forced to come to Kawempe General hospital for proper care.

The mother of one says her second pregnancy came about after being raped late one night as she returned home from work. So, she decided to carry out an abortion.

continued: https://observer.ug/news/headlines/59000-uganda-s-untold-abortion-story


DRC – September 27, 2018 News Release

Complications from Unsafe Abortion Common in Kinshasa
New evidence demonstrates need to improve access to safe abortion and postabortion care

September 27, 2018
News Release

A new study using data from 2016 found that the majority of women in Kinshasa who seek postabortion care following an unsafe abortion experience severe or moderate complications. In 2016, 37,900 women obtained treatment for complications from abortion in Kinshasa, the capital and largest urban area of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Kinshasa and the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, documents for the first time the immediate health consequences of complications resulting from unsafe abortion among women admitted to health facilities in Kinshasa, as well as the type of treatment these patients received. Researchers found that women receiving postabortion care were most commonly treated using outdated methods not recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2018/complications-unsafe-abortion-common-kinshasa


Legal access to abortion expands in Democratic Republic of Congo

Legal access to abortion expands in Democratic Republic of Congo

Thursday, July 26, 2018

In an historic shift toward greater fulfillment of women’s sexual and reproductive rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), women can now legally access abortion under a broader range of conditions—including in cases of sexual assault, rape or incest, and when a continued pregnancy would endanger the mental and physical health of the woman or the life of the woman or the fetus.

“Months of advocacy by Ipas and our strategic partners in the DRC helped achieve this huge step forward for women’s rights,” says Patrick Djemo, Country Representative of Ipas DRC.

Continued: http://www.ipas.org/en/News/2018/July/Legal-access-to-abortion-expands-in-Democratic-Republic-of-Congo.aspx


Malawi: Rural Women Groups in Malawi Back Proposed Abortion Law

Malawi: Rural Women Groups in Malawi Back Proposed Abortion Law

20 July 2018

The statistics are staggering. Over 141,000 women and girls induce abortions unsafely in Malawi with about half of them suffering from complications. AKWETE SANDE writes on how rural SRHR women groups are supporting the enactment of the proposed Termination of Pregnancy Bill.

Mention the word abortion and the reactions you get are diverse. For some emotions run high. For others, religious dogma creeps in. And for some, facts do no matter. Usually, truth suffers.

Continued: https://allafrica.com/stories/201807200158.html


Ethiopia: Comprehensive abortion care to decline maternal death

Ethiopia: Comprehensive abortion care to decline maternal death

May 3, 2018
BY HAFTU GEBREZGABIHER

Self-induced abortion, or the deliberate termination of pregnancy is one of the most controversial issues in legal discourse. As a legal issue, abortion is usually discussed in light of the principles of criminal law. Depending on circumstances, however, abortion can also be discussed from the standpoint of constitutional law.

In the former case, the issue usually takes the form of criminalizing or decriminalizing the act, while in the latter, the issue becomes whether a pregnant woman has a constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy. The issue thus usually involves the competing arguments in favor of the "right" of the fetus to be brought onto life (i.e. personhood) vis-à-vis the right of the mother to abortion based on her interests and choice.

Continued: http://allafrica.com/stories/201805030725.html


Senegal: The law, trials and imprisonment for abortion

FEATURE - Senegal: The law, trials and imprisonment for abortion
24 April 2018
International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

by Nandini Archer, Alice Finden, Hannah Pearson
Edited by Marge Berer

Introduction

The law on abortion in Senegal is both restrictive and unclear. Although the country’s criminal code completely prohibits pregnancy termination, the Code of Medical Ethics allows an abortion if three doctors agree that the procedure is necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life. Given these circumstances, almost no abortions are legal and unsafe abortion leads to a high maternal mortality ratio. A combination of an inherited colonial penal code, and the influence of religion and social stigma, mean that despite continuing attempts by advocates to change the law, cases of sometimes prolonged pre-trial detention and imprisonment for illegal abortion and for infanticide among women unable to obtain an abortion, are rife, especially among poor and rural women.

This report looks at Senegal’s abortion law and policy, the prevalence of unsafe abortions, attempts to reform the law, the process of criminalisation of women, the extent of infanticide, and women’s stories, based on a range of published sources and valuable input from Senegalese human rights and women’s rights advocates.

Continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/feature-senegal-the-law-trials-and-imprisonment-for-abortion-24-april-2018?e=372dd34034


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

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/