OPINION: Sexual violence continues in conflict and so must our care for survivors
by Alvaro Bermejo | International Planned Parenthood Federation
Thursday, 23 May 2019
In the humanitarian sector, we are often asked why sexual and reproductive healthcare is necessary in situations of conflict and fragility.
The answer is clear. Women and girls all too often bear the brunt of humanitarian crises. Lacking the usual protective measures such as the family unit or home, women and girls become more vulnerable to sexual violence. It can be more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in armed conflict.
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
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.
233 Tehrathum women receive safe abortion services in less than three months
Tehrathum, June 11, 2018
A noticeable number of women received safe abortion services in the district in less than the past three months.The District Health Office (DPHO), Terhathum had started free and safe abortion services at the District Hospital, two primary centers and 11 health posts in April. It is said 233 women underwent abortions through safe methods since the lunching of services in the hilly district of Province 1.
Side by side, public awareness programs on the safe abortion are going on in the district. An organization called ‘Abhiyan for Prosperous Tehrathum’ has been conducting Sexual and Reproductive Rights Strengthening Project. The project presently covers Basantapur, Solma, Aambung and Morahang.
by Sonia Sodha
A woman’s right to choose has been a hard-fought battle and we must ensure proper quality of care
Sunday 22 January 2017, The Guardian
Imagine the outcry. A charity offering a common medical procedure – 70,000 a year, more than in the NHS itself – is found guilty of terribly poor standards of care. You’d expect some calls for the chief executive’s head; others claiming this represents the creeping privatisation of the NHS; and serious questions asked about how NHS commissioners were unaware of the issues.
This did, in fact, happen last year. The charity was Marie Stopes International and the procedure was abortion. The Care Quality Commission found serious problems. Staff responsible for getting consent from pregnant girls under 16 were not trained in recognising signs of child sexual abuse. Doctors left clinics before all patients had been discharged, leaving them with nurses untrained to deal with emergency situations. And inspectors observed a case where doctors failed to ensure a visibly distressed woman with a learning disability understood the procedure she was about to undergo when seeking consent.
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Source, The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/22/abortion-debate-marie-stopes-womens-right-to-safe-healthcare
Despite Progress, Unsafe Abortion is Still Common
Jan 13, 2017
After liberalizing Ethiopia’s abortion law in 2005, the government implemented programs designed to train health care providers, to equip facilities and expand the services they offer and to integrate abortion care into broader reproductive health services. These efforts have resulted in significant improvements in access to abortion and postabortion care in the country. A new study reveals that, although many procedures continued to occur outside health facilities, often under unsafe conditions, the share of abortions that took place in health facilities nearly doubled between 2008 and 2014.
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Source: Guttmacher Institute