Kenya – Abortion stigma denies survivors speedy treatment

Abortion stigma denies survivors speedy treatment
Medical staff fear in the event that the woman succumbs to illness, the health practitioners will be arrested

by Daniel Otieno, Star Blogs
17 July 2019

Cultures that do not allow pregnancy before marriage and fear by health workers to attend to survivors of unsafe abortion cause a delay in providing post-abortion care hence increasing abortion-related deaths.

At the facilities, medical personnel will not attend to women who had attempted procuring abortion as they fear that in the event that the woman succumbs to illness, the health practitioners will be arrested.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/star-blogs/2019-07-17-abortion-stigma-denies-survivors-speedy-treatment/

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Lack of safe abortion provision a global health issue

Lack of safe abortion provision a global health issue
At least 22,000 women and girls die each year from unsafe abortions

Thu, Mar 7, 2019
Claire Fotheringham

Setting foot in the busy maternity hospital in West Africa in September 2011 , I was completely unprepared for what I found: women arriving on death’s door, with complications such as heavy bleeding and septic shock.

In the operating theatre, examining many of these women, I found trauma marks on the cervix, caused by objects such as sticks that had been inserted to terminate their pregnancies. Examples of unsafe abortion that had resulted in horrific injury.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/lack-of-safe-abortion-provision-a-global-health-issue-1.3816662

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Unsafe abortion: A forgotten emergency

Unsafe abortion: A forgotten emergency

Mar 7, 2019

Unsafe abortion remains one of the five leading causes of maternal mortality, despite the fact that it is almost always preventable.

More than 22,000 women and girls die each year after having an unsafe abortion, according to a comprehensive report published by the Guttmacher Institute in 2018.

Since 1990 the world has made significant progress to reduce the other main causes of maternal deaths—severe bleeding, severe infection, blood pressure disorders, and obstructed labor—yet there has been little improvement to diminish the dangers of unsafe abortion.

Continued: https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/what-we-do/news-stories/story/unsafe-abortion-forgotten-emergency

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Venezuela – This Woman Performed Her Own Abortion — And Was Lucky To Survive

This Woman Performed Her Own Abortion — And Was Lucky To Survive
After barely surviving two illegal abortions, Beatriz sells birth control on the black market to help other women in Venezuela, as the economic and political crisis deepens.

Karla Zabludovsky, BuzzFeed News Reporter
Posted on February 28, 2019

CARACAS, Venezuela — With a flick of the wrist, Beatriz pulled out two strips of birth control pills from her top.

Contraceptives are in short supply in Venezuela, with most pharmacies sold out, so it’s largely up to black marketeers like Beatriz to supply women with them. And despite their exorbitant price tag — on the street, $1 gets you a month’s birth control, but that represents a week’s salary — the pills remain highly sought after.

Continued: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/karlazabludovsky/venezuelas-crisis-is-pushing-women-to-have-illegal-abortions

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Ghana – The battle of values: Health practitioners make medical decisions based on personal values

The battle of values: Health practitioners make medical decisions based on personal values

By Mathias Aboba
Dec 23, 2018

Women seeking legal abortion care including life-threatening complications due to abortion (post-abortion complication) or after suffering miscarriage may be denied care by some health service providers in Ghana due to their religious or moral beliefs, a research finding has revealed.

According to the study, which looked at Conscience-based Objection to abortion care or Conscientious Objection to abortion (CO) conducted in two regions in Ghana Volta and Eastern Regions by reproductive rights advocacy network, Global Doctors for Choice Ghana, a relatively high number of doctors, midwives, nurses and physician assistants who have received training in comprehensive abortion care will rather exercise their right to refuse to provide legal abortion services to women in need due to their religious or morale beliefs.

Continued: https://www.newsghana.com.gh/the-battle-of-values-health-practitioners-make-medical-decisions-based-on-personal-values/

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Video: Malawi Government Considers Liberalizing Abortion Laws

Malawi Government Considers Liberalizing Abortion Laws

November 09, 2018
Lameck Masina

Malawi's government is considering a proposal to liberalize the country's abortion laws. Currently, abortion is allowed only when a woman's life is in danger, and many pregnant women turn to risky, unsafe procedures to end unwanted pregnancies. However, the draft law faces stiff opposition from religious leaders who say abortion is a sin. Lameck Masina has the story from Blantyre.

Continued: https://www.voanews.com/a/malawi-government-considers-liberalizing-abortion-laws/4651627.html

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Clandestine Abortion in Zimbabwe Contributes to Maternal Medical Complications

Clandestine Abortion in Zimbabwe Contributes to Maternal Medical Complications
Four in 10 Women Who Have an Abortion Experience Complications That Require Treatment

October 25, 2018
News Release

Nearly all abortions in Zimbabwe are clandestine, with many resulting in complications that require medical treatment. However, half of women who experience complications from unsafe abortion in Zimbabwe never receive the care they need. These findings come from a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences Clinical Trials Research Centre (UZCHS-CTRC), the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care and the U.S.-based Guttmacher Institute. The study, which provides the first comprehensive estimates of the incidence of abortion and postabortion care in Zimbabwe, was conducted in an effort to understand the potential impact of unsafe abortion on maternal injury and death in a country that has among the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world. The findings are based on surveys of all health facilities in the country, as well as experts on abortion and women seeking postabortion care—which includes treatment for complications from unsafe abortion and miscarriage—and were published in the journals PLOS ONE and BMJ Open.

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2018/clandestine-abortion-zimbabwe-contributes-maternal-medical-complications

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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

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Women are dying from backstreet abortions. But reforms to Malawi’s 157-year-old laws are stuck

Women are dying from backstreet abortions. But reforms to Malawi's 157-year-old laws are stuck

By Lameck Masina for CNN
Sep 25, 2018

Blantyre, Malawi — David Minyatso holds the voter registration card of his late wife, Selina.

The last time he saw her, she had just found out she was pregnant with their fourth child.

"She told me she was feeling symptoms of pregnancy. She left for her home village two days later to visit her parents," 36-year-old Minyatso said, standing in the doorway of their thatched-roof home in Kaseleka village, his daughters playing in the dirt yard outside.

continued: https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/26/health/malawi-abortion-law-as-equals-africa-intl/index.html

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First Study on the Incidence of Abortion Among Ugandan Adolescents Released

First Study on the Incidence of Abortion Among Ugandan Adolescents Released
Research Sheds Light on Abortion and Postabortion Care Experiences

Sept 11, 2018

A new study by researchers at the U.S.-based Guttmacher Institute and Uganda’s Makerere University documents, for the first time, abortion rates and the severity of abortion-related complications among Ugandan adolescents aged 15–19. The study, published in Contraception, found that an estimated 57,000 abortions took place among Ugandan adolescents in 2013. The researchers also found that adolescents seeking postabortion care for complications resulting from an unsafe abortion or miscarriage did not face greater disadvantages in their abortion care experiences, compared with women older than 20. However, among those seeking postabortion care, unmarried women, including unmarried adolescents, were more likely than married women to experience severe complications.

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2018/first-study-incidence-abortion-among-ugandan-adolescents-released

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