Kenya is having another go at passing a reproductive rights bill. What’s at stake

July 12, 2020
Anthony Idowu Ajayi, Meggie Mwoka

Kenya’s Senate is considering a reproductive healthcare bill, which seeks to address reproductive health gaps. This is the second time the bill has come before the senate. It has, once again, drawn fire from religious groups, some politicians and civil society lobbies opposed to its proposals. Anthony Ajayi and Meggie Mwoka unpack the bill and the lessons from previous failed attempts.

What is the substance of the bill?

Kenyan women and girls face an array of reproductive health risks that can be addressed by comprehensive reproductive health care services. These include sexually transmitted infections, HIV, unsafe abortion and unplanned pregnancies.

Continued: https://theconversation.com/kenya-is-having-another-go-at-passing-a-reproductive-rights-bill-whats-at-stake-142387


Bangladesh – Increased budget must come with policy changes, utilisation

Experts hail allocation in family planning, but wary of planning

July 06, 2020
Nilima Jahan

The budget allocation in health and family welfare has seen a steady increase in the past few years. This year, the amount increased by 13.66 percent, standing at Tk 29,247 crore.

Although the increased allocation appears to be a step in the right direction, family planning experts believe that the higher budgets are not being utilised in a planned manner.

Continued: https://www.thedailystar.net/city/news/increased-budget-must-come-policy-changes-utilisation-1925709


India – ‘1.85m Women May Have Failed To Get An Abortion During Lockdown’

Sadhika Tiwari
July 5, 2020

New Delhi: In the first three months of the COVID-19 lockdown, March 25 to June 24, 2020, 47% of the estimated 3.9 million abortions that would have likely taken place in India in this span under normal circumstances were possibly compromised. This means that 1.85 million Indian women could not terminate an unwanted pregnancy, concluded a May 2020 modelling study conducted by the Ipas Development Foundation (IDF), India, a non-profit dedicated to preventing and managing unwanted pregnancies. Of these 1.85 million women, 80% or 1.5 million compromised abortions were due to the lack of availability of medical abortion drugs at pharmacy stores, the study found.

The estimation builds on data from telephone surveys of 509 public-sector facilities across eight states, 52 private-sector providers, expert opinion of members of the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), sales data on medical abortion drugs, and trend estimation by pharmaceutical industry experts.

Continued: https://www.indiaspend.com/1-85m-women-may-have-failed-to-get-an-abortion-during-lockdown/


Malawi: NGOs Urge Malawi’s New Leader to Promote Human Rights

3 July 2020
Centre for Solutions Journalism (Blantyre)
By Glory Msowoya, Mana

Centre for Solutions of Journalism (CSJ) has urged the new administration of the State President Dr Lazarus Chakwera to prioritise the advancement of human rights for all the citizens.

"We urge the new administration to promote and defend human rights for all the citizens without discrimination based on including region, tribe, religion, gender, sex or sexual orientation," said CSJ executive director Brian Ligomeka.

Continued: https://allafrica.com/stories/202007030229.html


Malawi: NGO Urges Government to Advance Abortion Law

3 July 2020
Malawi News Agency (Lilongwe)
By Glory Msowoya

Blantyre — Centre for Solutions of Journalism (CSJ) has urged the Tonse Alliance led government to look into abortion law reforms and to enact the proposed bill which should deal with unsafe abortion among girls and women.

The CSJ made the call on Wednesday in Blantyre during a day-long training on sexual and reproductive health for traditional and religious leaders from Blantyre and Chiradzulu as the organization said human rights should be the government's priority for its citizens without discrimination.

Continued: https://allafrica.com/stories/202007030447.html


Namibia – Making abortion safe and legal

Staff Reporter   National   Khomas
July 2, 2020

The abortion debate post-independence was started by Dr Libertina Amathila, the then minister of health. During this debate, she highlighted the statistics of girls and women that had lost lives due to unsafe abortions and the actual number of women and girls that had proffered an abortion. This motion was denied.

Thereafter, the motion was taken up by Dr Nickey Iiyambo and the motion was denied. The Ombudsman Advocate John Walters has spoken out about the effects of illegal abortion, Dr Richard Kamwi, the former minister of health has spoken out about unsafe abortion, the president of Namibia, Hage Geingob, has as well spoken out against unsafe abortion and has indicated the need to legalise abortion.

Continued: https://neweralive.na/posts/opinion-making-abortion-safe-and-legal


Brazil – Covid-19 and the wounded uterus

There would be no death, bleeding or suffering if abortion were recognized for what it is: a medical necessity

Debora Diniz and Giselle Carino
01 jul 2020

The news report described her as an anonymous 31-year-old woman. The subheading read: “Case happened in Bom Jesus do Norte” – or Good Jesus of the North. From what we know, she was the first woman to die from a clandestine abortion in Brazil during the coronavirus pandemic. The nameless woman “was two months pregnant,” according to her husband. Twice she sought help in spaces of death, at unsafe abortion houses. She tried a hose, potassium permanganate, syringes. She died of cardiac arrest. Why did she persist? We do not know, nor do her innermost reasons matter. It is enough to know that she was a woman determined not to be forced into maternity during the pandemic.

The pandemic killed her. Cause and effect can be debated in this narrative, that is true. Her death was not from Covid-19, but from the policies that rule women’s bodies as if they were material to be controlled by criminal law.

Continued: https://english.elpais.com/opinion/2020-07-01/covid-19-and-the-wounded-uterus.html


Namibia – Beyond the veil of unsafe abortion

2020-07-01
by Yokany Oliveira

SHE still cannot erase the dark memory of the day she overdosed on pills in order to induce an abortion in 2010.

The incident landed *Ndinelao in hospital where she was treated for severe bleeding.

Ndinelao took the pills knowing she would experience severe side effects but her desire to terminate the pregnancy was greater than the risk.

Continued: https://www.namibian.com.na/92360/read/Beyond-the-veil-of-unsafe-abortion


Thailand – A choice, not a death warrant

A choice, not a death warrant
Many unaware safe abortion an option

29 Jun 2020
Penchan Charoensuthipan

Noi thought her world had tumbled down when she discovered she was pregnant at
the age of 50.

But it has dawned on Noi, a teacher, that an unwanted pregnancy could happen to
any woman, young or old. What compounds the already dire situation for many
women is that they feel their only choice is to have an illegal abortion.

Continued: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1942568/a-choice-not-a-death-warrant


Argentina – Socorristas en Red: Activists provide vital lifeline for women seeking abortions

For women unable to gain access to legal abortions, the Las Socorristas en Red network is an essential lifeline, providing them with guidance, support and care in their moment of greatest need.

Julia Logue
June 27, 2020

Even in the middle of the night, Irina Percara’s phone is always on full volume. She never knows when she’ll need to be reached.

Irina, 24, is one of 450 activists that form Las Socorristas en Red, a network of feminist groups across Argentina that guide women through abortions using misoprostol, a drug that safely terminates pregnancies during the first trimester.

“We help women who need abortions do it without guilt, without judgment, and without putting their health and safety at risk,” the activist told the Times.

Continued: https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/argentina/socorristas-en-red-activists-provide-vital-lifeline-for-women-seeking-abortions.phtml