Safe Access to Abortion Crucial to Reducing Maternal Mortality in Kenya

Safe Access to Abortion Crucial to Reducing Maternal Mortality in Kenya
First Lady Kenyatta’s “Beyond Zero” Campaign Ignores Key Issue

March 14, 2019
Agnes Odhiambo, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division

Five years ago, Kenya’s First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta, launched the “Beyond Zero” campaign to eradicate preventable maternal and child mortality in Kenya. The initiative has drawn support and criticism in equal measure from Kenyans, and it has earned this criticism by ignoring a crucial aspect of women’s health – access to safe abortion.

A charity half marathon last weekend to mobilize resources for the campaign was met with wide-ranging criticism from Kenyans. Activists infiltrated part of the run to stage an anti-corruption protest, arguing that corruption and government failure to prosecute officials implicated in these crimes are the main factors behind Kenya’s failing health sector. Other critics say that the first lady’s campaign is diverting much-needed resources from the public health system.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/14/safe-access-abortion-crucial-reducing-maternal-mortality-kenya

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Kenya – Ambiguity in abortion guidelines causing death of women and girl

Ambiguity in abortion guidelines causing death of women and girls

Monday March 11 2019
By EVELYNE OPONDO

The International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made towards gender equality — and we must as well consider the work that still needs to be done to ensure women and girls can participate with dignity as equal members of society.

Improving maternal health outcomes is an integral component in achieving gender equality. While the maternal mortality rate has declined in Kenya, the risk of women dying from pregnancy complications remains high.

Continued: https://www.nation.co.ke/oped/opinion/Ambiguity-in-abortion-guidelines-causing-death-/440808-5020152-13qcd19/

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Kenya’s high court to decide on safe abortion as teenager dies

Kenya's high court to decide on safe abortion as teenager dies

July 12, 2018
Nita Bhalla

NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Kenya’s high court is to decide if the government is responsible for the death of a teenager from a botched backstreet abortion, campaigners said on Thursday, in a case which could see safer abortions for thousands of women in the east African nation.

The girl - known by her initials JMM to protect her identity - was raped in 2014 at the age of 15. On discovering she was pregnant, she had a backstreet abortion that left her with injuries which eventually led to her death last month.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kenya-women-abortion/kenyas-high-court-to-decide-on-safe-abortion-as-teenager-dies-idUSKBN1K22DU

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Kenya – Doctor tells court when law allows abortion

Doctor tells court when law allows abortion

Jul. 11, 2018
By CAROLE MAINA @mainacarole

The few instances where a doctor is forced to terminate a pregnancy include ectopic pregnancy or eclampsia, where a mother experiences high blood pressure, threatening her life and that of the unborn child. A gynaecologist yesterday explained to a bench of five judges situations where doctors are permitted to terminate pregnancies.

Dr Wahome Ngari of the Kenya Cristian Professional Forum supports the move by the ministry of Health to withdraw guidelines on safe abortion.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2018/07/11/doctor-tells-court-when-law-allows-abortion_c1784993

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Kenya – Safe abortion case puts Health ministry on the spot

Safe abortion case puts Health ministry on the spot

By Dzuya Walter For Citizen Digital
July 11, 2018

Fida Kenya and the Centre for Reproductive Rights are challenging the decision taken by the ministry saying it’s a violation of women rights. They further argue that the affected women are forced to seek abortion care from quacks and face serious risks of damage to their health and others lead to death. The lobby groups insist that it is important that the Ministry advises when health workers should provide safe and legal abortion.

The Ministry of Health has said it is in the process of getting new guidelines on safe abortion. According to Dr. Joel Gondi, Head of the Reproductive and Maternal Health Service Union, the government’s primary focus is to preserve life and reduce maternal morbidity.

Continued: https://citizentv.co.ke/news/safe-abortion-case-puts-health-ministry-on-the-spot-206518/

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Kenya:: Bring back ‘safe’ abortion guidelines, say petitioners

Bring back 'safe' abortion guidelines, say petitioners

by Paul Ogemba
Published Sat, February 3rd 2018

Two civil society organisations championing women rights put up a brave fight to compel the government to put in place guidelines for safe abortions.

Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Kenya) and the Centre for Reproductive Rights (CRR) argued that their petition was not about legalising abortion but fighting for the right of women with unwanted pregnancies and who have a right to life and to procure safe, legal abortion services.

Continued: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/health/article/2001268307/ngos-push-for-reintroduction-of-safe-abortion-guidelines

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