Kenya – Lack of information on sex leaves young people vulnerable

Lack of information on sex leaves young people vulnerable

Saturday June 2 2018

Let’s talk about sex.

That is the one statement that makes many parents cringe while others run for holy water and call a priest.

But the reality is that, by the time they turn 19, the majority of Kenyan youth have already had their sexual debut.

Continued: https://www.nation.co.ke/oped/opinion/Lack-of-information-on-sex/440808-4591098-vaqs8p/index.html

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Ireland, Enthusiastic About Gay Rights, Frets Over Abortion

Ireland, Enthusiastic About Gay Rights, Frets Over Abortion

By Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura
May 20, 2018

CARRIGTWOHILL, Ireland — When it comes to the Roman Catholic Church, Judy Donnelly has been something of a rebel over the years. Like much of Ireland, she supported contraception, voted in a referendum to legalize divorce and, three years ago, backed same-sex marriage.

That last vote was joyously celebrated around the country and the world, placing Ireland, which elected its first gay prime minister last year, at the vanguard of what many called a social revolution.

But when it comes to the historic decision on legalizing abortion, which will be put to the nation on Friday, Ms. Donnelly says she will vote no, as will enough of her countrymen and women, including lawmakers across the political divide, to throw the referendum result into doubt. Polls for the May 25 vote have narrowed so tightly in recent weeks that “yes” and “no” campaigners are not able to confidently predict a victory.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/20/world/europe/ireland-gay-rights-abortion.html

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Scotland – ‘Pupils should be given abortion information’, teachers’ hear

‘Pupils should be given abortion information’, teachers’ hear

Scotsman Reporter
Published: Wednesday 11 April 2018

Pupils should be given information about abortion in the classroom because many do not discuss it at home, teachers have heard.

Youngsters need teachers who can “give them the facts” about what is legal and what is available, the National Education Union’s (ATL section) annual conference in Liverpool was told.

Continued: https://www.scotsman.com/news/education/pupils-should-be-given-abortion-information-teachers-hear-1-4722162

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Ghana: Journalists Sensitized On Reproductive Health

Journalists Sensitized On Reproductive Health
Dec 19, 2017

Selorm Azumah, Senior Advisor at Ipas Ghana, a global non-governmental organisation dedicated to ending preventable deaths and disabilities from unsafe abortion, has called for the implementation of the comprehensive reproductive health education (CRHE) in the country.

According to him, Ghana could greatly reduce the incidence of unsafe abortion and its related complications if citizens, especially girls and women, are equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values they need to determine and enjoy sexuality physically and emotionally as individuals and in relationships.

Continued at source: https://www.modernghana.com/news/823682/journalists-sensitized-on-reproductive-health.html

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Ghana: Teach Your Children Safe Sex…Prevent Unsafe Abortion – Azumah

Teach Your Children Safe Sex…Prevent Unsafe Abortion - Azumah

16-Dec-2017

Senior Advisor at Ipas Ghana, Selorm Azumah has asked Ghanaians not to allow their values and religious beliefs to ‘blind’ them as far as practicing safe sex is concerned.

According to him, so many girls of reproductive age are dying of unsafe abortion because parents, society and the church are refusing to educate their children on safe sex or the use of contraceptives.

Continued at source: https://www.peacefmonline.com/pages/local/social/201712/338698.php

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Council of Europe warns on backlash to abortion access

Council of Europe warns on backlash to abortion access

By Caterina Tani
BRUSSELS, Dec 6, 2017

A backlash against access to abortion in some EU member states in the past few years is "deeply troubling", the Council of Europe warned on Tuesday (5 December).

In the majority of EU countries abortions are legal, but in some states a wave of "retrogressive restrictions" are threatening women's health and well-being, the European human rights organisation's report said.

Continued at source: https://euobserver.com/health/140158

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As PiS turns topic taboo, feminists get Poland talking sex

As PiS turns topic taboo, feminists get Poland talking sex
As Poland shifts sharply to the right on sex education and women's reproductive rights, a feminist organization is fighting back with a campaign to get women talking. It's a start, one of SexEdPl's leaders tells DW.

Date 18.11.2017
Author Jo Harper

Barbara Baran, one of the main organizers of Poland's largest feminist Facebook group, recently launched SexEdPl, an educational campaign to explain safe sex to young Poles.

As the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) government plans to take Poland out of the Istanbul Convention on violence against women and education reforms shunt sex education off the curriculum, Baran believes that the time is ripe for a conversation about matters sexual in the deeply Catholic country.

Continued at source: http://www.dw.com/en/as-pis-turns-topic-taboo-feminists-get-poland-talking-sex/a-37643331

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Uganda condemns sex education for 10-year-olds as ‘morally wrong’

Uganda condemns sex education for 10-year-olds as 'morally wrong'

Ministry of Health declines to endorse proposals to tackle teen pregnancy rates, with distribution of contraceptives to 15-year-olds branded an ‘erosion of morals’

Samuel Okiror in Kampala
Friday 20 October 2017

A row has broken out in Uganda over proposals to extend sex education to 10-year-olds and give some 15-year-olds access to family planning services.

The Ministry of Health has refused to endorse the guidelines, which were designed to tackle the country’s high teenage pregnancy rate, objecting that they are morally wrong and would encourage promiscuity and abortions.

Activists condemned the decision as a “failure of leadership”.

Continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/oct/20/uganda-condemns-sex-education-for-10-year-olds-as-morally-wrong

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Malaysia: Getting the message across

Getting the message across

Letters
Wednesday, 27 Sep 2017

WHEN parents find out that their 17-year-old school-going daughter is pregnant, the reaction would most probably be anger followed by murderous rage, more anger and then a feeling of failure before they finally settle down to decide how to deal with the situation and the stigma that comes with it.

Abortion may be one option they would consider. Some might finally accept the circumstances and try to marry the girl off. In other situations, relatives or others may be brought in to take care of the girl until the baby is born, and it would most probably be given up for adoption.

Continued at source: http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/letters/2017/09/27/getting-the-message-across/

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The Great Coalition for Equality and Choice joins forces in Poland

The Great Coalition for Equality and Choice joins forces in Poland
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
May 9, 2017

The Great Coalition for Equality and Choice, consisting of over 80 non-governmental organizations from all over Poland, has been established as a reaction to an offensive by anti-women groups. These threatening actions include regular draft bills directly attacking the life and health of women, restricting access to emergency contraception, frightening doctors in their workplaces, shocking anti-abortion campaigns, fighting against comprehensive sexuality education, as well as the systemic weakening of the protection of women against domestic violence. These actions call for active and organized resistance on the part of civil society.

We draw our strength from the 200 year old tradition of female political and civic activities. We have the knowledge and practical NGO experience, as well as the social energy of the pro-women’s rights protests of 2016 and 2017.

The Coalition’s goal is the comprehensive fight for women’s human rights: quick threat identification, coordination of legal activities, and building social awareness. The group demand sexuality education, good standards of perinatal care, the fullness of reproductive rights, and the total elimination of violence against women. In the coming weeks, we will shape the actions of the Coalition.

The current legal regulations on the termination of pregnancy do not work in practice. Almost every attempt to obtain a legal abortion encounters resistance from gynaecologists or hospitals directors. In 2015 the Constitutional Tribunal released doctors from the duty to refer the patient to another specialist who is able to perform the service. Now, entire public health care facilities, or even provinces, are entitled to claim “conscientious objection”. Desperate women head to foreign clinics, even when theoretically they have a right to a legal abortion in Poland. We will persist in trying to liberalize the law. We want 21st century Polish women to be able to have the same standards as other European women. Only ideology stands in the way.

The actions of anti-abortion activists penetrates deeper and deeper into the everyday lives of citizens. There is systematic pressure on hospitals performing abortions on medical grounds. The local authorities fail to react to anti-abortion propaganda in public spaces – for instance setting up large boards with photos of bloody remains of developed fetuses captioned “This is how children are being murdered in Polish hospitals”. Frequently, the image of Hitler is placed nearby, with a caption equating termination of pregnancy with the Holocaust, i.e. as the legacy of Nazism. Such campaigns are also openly directed at children. Dolls named “Little John” that are supposed to symbolize potential abortion victims are handed out in schools. Anti-abortion art competitions for children are also organized.

In hospitals, despite many complaints from women giving birth, there is no reaction to the so-called “defenders of life” visiting maternity wards. At the same time, standards of perinatal care are being disregarded, which in recent months has led to more deaths of women, reported as tragic accidents or medical errors. But that is not all. The lack of education and awareness in sexual health results in a rapid increase in sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, gonorrhoea, and until recently thought to have already been eliminated, syphilis. Furthermore, the typically female cancer screening programmes are being discontinued.

SOURCE: Federation for Women and Family Planning, 18 April 2017, in CEE Bulletin No.5 (164) 2017

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Source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/the-great-coalition-for-equality-and-choice-joins-forces-in-poland/

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