‘Unsafe abortion is a class issue’ explains Kenyan activist Ruth Mumbi

Kenya’s reproductive health bill is under attack from internationally connected conservative lobby groups. Mumbi explains what’s at stake.

Ruth Mumbi
14 September 2020

I’m a community activist working in the informal settlements of Nairobi on issues of class oppression and the economic empowerment of vulnerable women. This matter of the Reproductive Health Bill touches me directly as an activist at the forefront of rescuing young girls who have been defiled or, raped – some have even become pregnant through rape. I’ve been working closely with survivors of unsafe abortion who get a lot of stigmatisation, trauma, are labelled with all sorts of names. I’ve also worked with sex workers.

For me, this bill empowers women. I was born and raised in the slums, so I’ve watched people that I know, young women that I even used to play with as a child, being victims – some dying from backstreet abortions, some getting complications, some ending up having to live with a disability. And I’ve been trying to get services. We are from a community where even getting access to information about reproductive rights is difficult. Women young and old, they don’t have power to even control their bodies, their bodies are controlled by men.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/unsafe-abortion-is-a-class-issue-explains-kenyan-activist-ruth-mumbi/