Kenya: What it is like to have unsafe abortion

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What it is like to have unsafe abortion

Aug. 09, 2017
By JOHN MUCHANGI

Close to 21,000 Kenyan women end up in hospitals every year, with complications of unsafe abortions.

Some of them succumb. But apart from physical injuries, survivors endure years of emotional and psychological trauma, yet they cannot talk about it.

Talk on abortion remains highly emotive and stigmatised, but counsellors say silence is not golden. It can kill.

Which is why some community groups in Western Kenya now encourage women — and men — to freely share their unsafe abortion experiences.

Continued at source: The Star: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/08/09/what-it-is-like-to-have-unsafe-abortion_c1610203

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Families, fertility and feminism: landmarks in women’s rights

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Families, fertility and feminism: landmarks in women's rights

Women have fought long and hard to secure access to family planning and abortion, and reduce maternal mortality. A modern timeline of that struggle tells a story full of highs and lows

by Liz Ford
Thursday 27 July 2017

Women have been joining forces to agitate for their right to a better life for centuries, but some of the most significant changes have occurred over the past four decades.

It has been a journey of big leaps, small steps and setbacks. Four international women’s conferences, a bunch of UN resolutions and two sets of global goals have all played their part.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/jul/27/families-fertility-feminism-landmarks-in-womens-rights-timeline

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Pro-Life? Trump Administration is Endangering Women’s Lives

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Pro-Life? Trump Administration is Endangering Women’s Lives
By Nina Besser Doorley
7/25/17

Last Wednesday night, the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee finalized a foreign assistance bill that guts funding for women’s health around the world. During a debate over the proposal, which would likely increase unsafe abortions and maternal deaths, Republican legislators boasted on Twitter that their legislation “protects the sanctity of life.” In reality, the funding package does exactly the opposite: It undermines global health priorities and endangers women’s lives.

Continued at source: Newsweek: http://www.newsweek.com/trump-administration-pro-life-endangers-women-641520

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Sierra Leone News: Safe Abortion Act stranded between Parliament and State House

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Sierra Leone News: Safe Abortion Act stranded between Parliament and State House

July 25, 2017

The “Safe Abortion Act, 2015, has stalled somewhere between Parliament and State House. The Act will change the 150-year old colonial “1861 Abortion Law” to allow women and girls to terminate a pregnancy in any circumstances up to 12 weeks. The Bill would also allow abortion in cases of incest, rape and foetal impairment up to 24 weeks.

In Sierra Leone, the country with the world’s worst maternal mortality, abortion is illegal in nearly all circumstances and unsafe abortion is estimated to account for 10% of maternal deaths. The World Health Organization estimates that Sierra Leone has the world’s highest maternal mortality ratio at 1,360 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2016.

Thousands of adolescent girls become pregnant in Sierra Leone every year and account for almost 50% of all births.

Continued at source: Awoko: http://awoko.org/2017/07/26/sierra-leone-news-safe-abortion-act-stranded-between-parliament-and-state-house/

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Contraception is Lifesaving but Often Out of Reach

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Contraception is Lifesaving but Often Out of Reach
Family Planning Donors Should Assess Effects of US Funding Restrictions

Nisha Varia
Advocacy Director, Women’s Rights Division
July 10, 2017

Tomorrow, the Family Planning Summit will take place in London. There, governments, donors, and civil society will meet to review progress and recommit to enabling 120 million more women worldwide to access a modern form of contraception by 2020.

Family planning is lifesaving. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the second leading cause of death for adolescents ages 15 to 19 globally and cause 800 women and girls to die each day. The World Health Organization estimates that at least 22,000 women die from abortion-related complications each year.

Continued at source: Human Rights Watch: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/07/10/contraception-lifesaving-often-out-reach

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Tedros can draw on Ethiopia’s lessons on abortion

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Opinion: Tedros can draw on Ethiopia's lessons on abortion

by Saba Kidanemariam 05 July 2017

The past decade has seen tremendous progress toward women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world, especially access to safe abortion. As Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus takes the helm of the World Health Organization as its new director-general, we can’t go backwards. Women’s and girls’ lives are at stake. Tens of thousands of women die, and millions more are injured when they have no choice but to turn to unsafe “back-alley” abortions.

In Ethiopia, the government, health providers and civil society worked together to make abortion safe and accessible. Why? As in many countries in Africa and other parts of the world, unsafe abortion was a major cause of death or injury for women in Ethiopia. Women who are young and poor are most affected. And we know from experience and research that restricting access to abortion doesn’t make it safe and doesn’t make it rare.

Continued at source: Devex: https://www.devex.com/news/opinion-tedros-can-draw-on-ethiopia-s-lessons-on-abortion-90587

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Ghana: Address adolescent reproductive health

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Address adolescent reproductive health
July 5, 2017

The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has called for a concerted effort by family, community, educationists, health professionals and religious leaders in Africa to address adolescent reproductive health in Africa.

That, she said, had become necessary due to the fact that the family and community, which traditionally were the primary institutions for socialisation, were inhibited by cultural taboos or ignorance in respect of educating the youth about their sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and rights.

Continued at source: Business Ghana: http://www.businessghana.com/site/news/general/148262/-Address-adolescent-reproductive-health-

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FEATURE: New Global Abortion Policies Database

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FEATURE: New Global Abortion Policies Database

International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
4 July 2017

In 2002, the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) published an online database summarising the world's abortion laws and policies, which they had tracked since the mid-1990s. It was a fantastic achievement and has continued to be of great use, in spite of the absence of updates since it was published (You just needed to know from other sources that a specific country had changed its abortion law/policies after 2002 and you could supplement the information it gave you). As a narrative source of the history of abortion laws and policies in each country, it should remain a valuable link to consult for a very long time.

Now, since June 2017, a new database has been placed online, which is full of the most up-to-date information. We published a short announcement about this new database in last week's newsletter. Here are more details about it.

Continued at source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/breaking-news-from-ireland-citizens-assembly-recommends-abortion-law-reform-feature-why-would-any-country-put-abortion-in-the-constitution-739677?e=3fa4c971b0

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Global Abortion Policies Database

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Global Abortion Policies Database
June 23, 2017

The World Health Organization, the Human Reproduction Programme, and the Population Division of the UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs have launched the Global Abortion Policies Database to promote greater transparency of abortion laws and policies and State accountability for the protection of women and girls’ health and human rights.

The Global Abortion Policies Database is designed to strengthen global efforts to eliminate unsafe abortion by producing an interactive open-access database and repository of current abortion laws, policies, and national standards and guidelines. This tool builds upon the UNPD’s previous work in this area, resulting in a more comprehensive information resource on abortion policies in the 21st century. The database will facilitate analyses of countries’ abortion laws and policies when they are placed in the context of WHO guidelines and human rights norms and standards. It is intended to help states identify and eliminate the barriers that women encounter in accessing safe abortion services. It is also intended to increase both the transparency of abortion laws and policies and to ensure accountability for the protection of women’s health and their human rights.

Continued at source: WHO / HRP: http://www.srhr.org/abortion-policies.

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About the Global Abortion Policies Project

The Global Abortion Policies Project (GAPP) has been designed to strengthen global efforts to eliminate unsafe abortion by producing a global, open-access repository of current abortion laws, policies, and national standards and guidelines. The purpose of the Project is to increase both the transparency of abortion laws and policies and to foster accountability among governments as they adopt and implement such policies. The Project has been structured to facilitate comparative analyses of countries’ abortion laws and policies by placing them in the context of the WHO guidance on safe abortion. Current laws and policies on abortion can be used as benchmarks to monitor and evaluate national progress in creating an enabling policy and regulatory environment for eliminating unsafe abortion. The Project Database is a collaborative effort by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations and the Department of Reproductive Health and Research of the World Health Organization.

Continued at source: United Nations: https://esa.un.org/gapp.

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When Antiabortion Ideology Turns into Foreign Policy: How the Global Gag Rule Erodes Health, Ethics and Democracy

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When Antiabortion Ideology Turns into Foreign Policy: How the Global Gag Rule Erodes Health, Ethics and Democracy

Sneha Barot
Guttmacher Institute
First published online: June 8, 2017

HIGHLIGHTS

The Trump administration reimposed and expanded the global gag rule to block U.S. global health assistance to all foreign nongovernmental organizations that use their own funding to engage in abortion-related services or advocacy.

This ideologically driven policy undermines the very goals of U.S. foreign aid programs by harming the health of people in poor countries, violating medical ethics and trampling on democratic values.

Continued at source: Guttmacher Institute: https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2017/06/when-antiabortion-ideology-turns-foreign-policy-how-global-gag-rule-erodes-health-ethics

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