Zimbabwe: There’s no ‘goodwill’ from Robert Mugabe, a man with blood on his hands


There's no 'goodwill' from Robert Mugabe, a man with blood on his hands

Every time a man who thinks women’s lives don’t matter is granted a position of authority, the social acceptability of misogyny is reinforced

Oct 21, 2017

According to the World Health Organisation, around 830 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. It’s one of those figures which, no matter how you slice it – 35 per hour, 300,000 per year – never gets any less shocking. It’s also one that isn’t likely to improve any time soon.

Around half of these deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Zimbabwe maternal mortality actually increased from 555 to 960 per 100,000 live births between 2006 and 2011, with 47 per cent of these deaths being classed as avoidable. Childbirth – a natural, necessary event, occurring daily since the dawn of humanity – is killing women, even when we have the knowledge and means to stop it.

Continued at source: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/robert-mugabe-who-goodwill-ambassador-zimbabwe-women-health-death-a8012776.html

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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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SENEGAL – A young couple, both school students, sent to prison for a month for abortion


SENEGAL – A young couple, both school students, sent to prison for a month for abortion
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Oct 20, 2017

In Senegal, abortion is illegal in all cases except to save the woman’s life; approval for inducing “therapeutic abortions” must come from three doctors, one of whom is independently assigned by the courts. Giving advice on where or how to access abortion is a criminal offence. There were an estimated 51,500 abortions in Senegal in 2012, and virtually all of them were clandestine and unsafe, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Seventy-three per cent of poor, rural women who underwent abortions had complications, compared to a third of non-poor, urban women.

According to the Senegalese Association of Women Lawyers (AJS), 16% of women in prison in Senegal are there for infanticide – including some who got pregnant following rape. One example is Ina, who was working as a domestic at the age of 16 and was raped by a security guard in the neighbourhood where she worked. She delivered alone in her mother’s home and left the dead baby in an unfinished building nearby. The police knocked on her door a few days later. She spent five years in jail.

The AJS recorded 153 cases of women in prison for this reason, with the support of the Regional Office for West Africa of the UN Human Rights Office during joint visits to the five prisons in Senegal that hold the majority of female detainees. According to the Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l’Homme (FIDH), another 22% are in prison for illegal abortion. From 2013 to 2014, the Family Child Guidance Centre recorded 420 cases of sexual abuse of girls aged 7 to 14 years. Nearly 30% of them became pregnant and, abortion not being permitted, 10-15% of them had to undergo a caesarean section because of their young age.

Senegal’s President Macky Sall said in 2015 that he may eventually support legalization of abortion in cases of rape or incest.

In September 2017, the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Dakar jailed a teenage boy and his girlfriend, both secondary school pupils, for the crimes of abortion and complicity in abortion. Without informing their parents, for fear of reprisal, the two ended their four-month pregnancy in August using a medication called “Sittotem” purchased from a clandestine pharmacy. The girl began to bleed heavily and was taken to hospital. In court, their lawyers asked for clemency so that they could continue in school. They were convicted, however, and given a month in prison each.

SOURCES: Leral.net, by Kady Faty, Ousseynou Wade, 22 September 2017 ; New Yorker, by Allyn Gaestrel & Ricci Shryock, 1 October 2017 ; OHCHR/PHOTO, 13 March 2015 ; FIDH, 28 November 2014

Source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/senegal-a-young-couple-both-school-students-sent-to-prison-for-a-month-for-abortion/

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Women the heart of Venezuela’s revolution


Women the heart of Venezuela’s revolution

Coral Wynter
Barquisimeto, Thursday, October 19, 2017
Abortion rights

[Women's equality activist Elvira] Dorante said: “With respect to the issue of abortion, we address it in all spaces. In Venezuela, abortion is illegal under all circumstances. The current situation where we have no access to contraception, especially since 2015 due to the fraudulent actions of pharmaceutical companies, has made us have to confront this issue even more.

“We have seen abortion occur in places where we’d never imagined they would occur. Given the current blockades on contraception and medicine, abortion is both much more common and more dangerous.

Continued at source: https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/women-heart-venezuela-revolution

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African MPs want laws on abortion harmonised


African MPs want laws on abortion harmonised

By Vision Reporter
Added 19th October 2017

African countries should safeguard reproductive health rights of women by permitting abortion in cases of sexual assault or where pregnancy poses a risk to the physical or mental health of a woman.

Legislators from the Pan African Parliament (PAP) are calling upon African countries that are signatories to the Maputo Protocol to comply.

A statement from Ugandan Parliament said they also urged States to decriminalise abortion by reforming their laws.

Continued at source: https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1463993/african-mps-laws-abortion-harmonised

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Malawi: Presidential adviser speaks on abortion debate


Presidential adviser speaks on abortion debate

James Chavula
October 18, 2017

A recent study by gynaecologists at the College of Medicine and US-based Guttimacher Institute shows almost 141 000 pregnancies in 2015 ended in clandestine abortions. Unsafe abortions claim lives of up to 18 in every 100 Malawian women who die of pregnancy-related complications. Our Features Editor JAMES CHAVULA asks presidential adviser on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) Mavuto Bamusi what President Peter Mutharika makes of the silent killer and a contentious push to relax the country’s abortion laws.

Continued at source: http://mwnation.com/presidential-adviser-speaks-abortion-debate/

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Strengthening safe, legal abortions in Africa


Strengthening safe, legal abortions in Africa
Oct 18, 2017

Six million cases of unsafe abortion occur in Africa annually, leading to the deaths of 29 000 women each year.

As tens of thousands of African women continue to die from unsafe abortion, the Pan African Parliament (PAP) wants to strengthen the legal and policy frameworks for safe, legal abortions in Africa.

This issue, and a report on the subject, were introduced at PAP’s Fifth Ordinary Session which concludes on Wednesday, at the Gallagher Conference Centre in Midrand.

Continued at source: https://citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/1693953/strengthening-safe-legal-abortions-in-africa/

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Lesotho: school girl dies from illegal abortion


Lesotho: school girl dies from illegal abortion

Published on 17.10.2017
by APA News

A 15-year-old girl attending Bochaletsane High School in Mants’onyane village in Lesotho’s Thaba Tseka district was reported by police Tuesday to have died due to termination of pregnancy.Lesotho is among the 14 African countries, including Angola, Central African Republic, Congo (Brazzaville), DRC, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mauritania, Sao Tomê and Principe, Senegal and Somalia where abortion is prohibited.

Police senior superintendent Litsietsi Selimo told APA that the deceased was in past weeks confronted by her guardians about her condition, but resisted and said she would rather die than disclose the person who impregnated her.

Continued at source: https://www.journalducameroun.com/en/lesotho-school-girl-dies-from-illegal-abortion/

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UK: Attitudes to women who have more than one abortion need to change


Attitudes to women who have more than one abortion need to change

October 16, 2017
Carrie Purcell

One in three women in the UK will have an abortion in her lifetime. But despite being a common medical procedure, abortion – which was partially legalised 50 years ago this month – continues to be stigmatised in the media and elsewhere in many different ways, meaning it is rarely talked about.

One abortion may be viewed as a reasonable “get out of jail free” card; having more than one abortion is often presented as beyond the pale. A woman might be able to decide she cannot continue with a pregnancy once, but to do so more than once speaks of her irresponsibility, fecklessness and failure to use contraception.

Continued at source: https://theconversation.com/attitudes-to-women-who-have-more-than-one-abortion-need-to-change-85707

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New Zealand: Denied abortion: Woman discovers pregnancy at 4 months, 2 weeks


Denied abortion: Woman discovers pregnancy at 4 months, 2 weeks
15 Oct, 2017
By: Sarah Harris
Reporter, NZ Herald

Erica never wanted children.

Certainly not aged 22, on minimum wage as a waitress, regularly binge-drinking alcohol, and without a partner.

But the Auckland woman discovered when she was 18 weeks along that she was pregnant.

She tried to get an abortion but says she was told it was too late.

Continued at source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11928010

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