Zimbabwe’s Review of Restrictive Abortion Laws

Activists are calling for a review of a decades-old abortion law to increase protections for women and girls

by Derick Matsengarwodzi
June 20, 2024

The Termination of Pregnancy Act (TOP Act), passed in 1977, has been increasingly attacked by human rights activists, victims, and legislators because it minimizes access to reproductive health for vulnerable women and girls in Zimbabwe. 

Activists are calling for a review of the act and amendments to include rape within a marriage, access to safe abortion, and reproductive health.  

Continued: https://www.thinkglobalhealth.org/article/zimbabwes-review-restrictive-abortion-laws

Reduce maternal death, incorporate abortion-related scheme in school curriculum – Experts to Nigerian govt

June 15, 2024
By Gift Oba

Following the high rate of maternal death and unsafe abortions, the federal government has been advised to incorporate abortion-related topics into the secondary school curriculum in order to educate and enlighten students on the dangers associated with it.

According to the October 2021 Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA) abortion survey, in Nigeria, 4.6% of reproductive-aged women undergo an abortion each year, equating to nearly 2 million abortions annually.

Continued: https://dailypost.ng/2024/06/15/reduce-maternal-death-incorporate-abortion-related-scheme-in-school-curriculum-experts-to-nigerian-govt/

Ethiopia – Fertile Ground

Anti-abortion campaigners have their sights set on Ethiopia – a progressive outlier in a region marred by restrictions. Who’s behind the emboldened ‘pro-life’ movement and what’s at stake for women’s rights amid a myriad of other challenges? Bethany Rielly, Maxine Betteridge-Moes and Maya Misikir report from Addis Ababa.

New International
14 June 2024

‘Pray to end abortion in Ethiopia’ reads the bumper sticker on a taxi parked outside a family planning clinic in the bustling heart of Addis Ababa. Jarring but easily dismissed, it’s an old tactic which anti-abortion groups have used the world over.

According to staff at the clinic, the driver used to rent a room in a building across the road. He recruited a worker from a nearby cafe to recite Bible verses to service users at the clinic. Using toy foetuses as props, the duo would implore people to ‘choose life’. The building has since been demolished as part of a massive city-wide redevelopment project, but this seemingly small act of protest is linked to a much larger and sturdier movement taking hold in Ethiopia and elsewhere in Africa.

Continued: https://newint.org/interactives/2024/fertile-ground/index.html

Nigeria – Lawyers seek advancement of reproductive health rights to curb maternal mortality

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
08 Jun. 2024

The World Health Organisation (WHO) deems unsafe abortion as one of the preventable causes of maternal mortality as statistics indicate that it accounts for almost a third of maternal mortality in Nigeria, hence the urgent need for the advancement of reproductive health rights in Nigeria.

This was the focus at an exploratory retreat for legal practitioners on Strategic Litigation for Sexual and Reproductive Heath Rights (SRHR) in Nigeria organized by the Centre for Human Rights and Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, in collaboration with the Centre for Reproductive Rights USA, Regional Office, Kenya.

Continued: https://guardian.ng/guardian-woman/lawyers-seek-advancement-of-reproductive-health-rights-to-curb-maternal-mortality/

Nigeria – How restrictive reproductive health laws endanger women’s lives

June 7, 2024

Avoidable deaths
When a married mother of two, called his causing, a medical doctor, in desperation, seeking help to terminate an unplanned pregnancy due to financial and career pressures, his immediate reaction was one of moral indignation. “God forbid,” he said, brushing off her plea. Little did he know, this rebuff would set off a chain of events leading to her tragic demise.

Recounting this sad and life changing experience, a Medical Practitioner, Dr. Fehintola Akintunde stated: “My educated cousin sought help from an unqualified provider. She was taken to a remote village where the procedure was done improperly. She developed severe complications and was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre in Abeokuta.

Continued: https://blueprint.ng/how-restrictive-reproductive-health-laws-endanger-womens-lives/

IPAS Partners NAWOJ To Enhance Reproductive Health Reporting

by Ayo Mukhail 
June 6, 2024

The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) has collaborated with IPAS Nigeria Health Foundation (NHF) to improve reporting on Women’s Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (WSRHR).

A 2-day training session, held in Lagos on May 29-30, 2024, equipped women journalists with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively report on WSRHR issues. “The aim of this training is to build the capacity of NAWOJ leadership on WSRHR issues, ensuring women journalists have the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively report on these issues,” said Mr. Lucky Palmer, Country Director of Partners for Reproductive Justice, Ipas Nigeria Health Foundation.

Continued: https://insideoyo.com/ipas-partners-nawoj-to-enhance-reproductive-health-reporting/

Malawi: Rape and Deaths From Unsafe Abortion – Malawi’s Horrifying Injustices

6 JUNE 2024
By Wina T. Sangala, Centre for Solutions Journalism (Blantyre)

The death of a 16-year-old girl following rape by a Kabaza (motorcycle taxi) operator, as reported by The Daily Times on February 5, 2024, calls for deep reflection and decisive action on Malawi's outdated abortion laws and how we are addressing gender-based violence.

Following the brutal rape, she became pregnant. She was not ready to keep the forced pregnancy, and after several failed attempts to get medical assistance, she died tragically following an unsafe abortion.

Continued: https://allafrica.com/stories/202406060158.html

Experts seek reforms to curb unsafe abortions

By Paul Adunwoke
06 June 2024

Health experts have reiterated the importance of new policies to address unsafe abortion in the country.

They said policy reforms will encourage revising the legal framework to expand the grounds on which abortions can be performed legally and would help in reducing the incidence of unsafe procedures.

Continued: https://guardian.ng/features/experts-seek-reforms-to-curb-unsafe-abortions/

Sanwo-Olu keeps mum on suspended Lagos abortion guidelines two years after

2nd June 2024
By Angela Onwuzoo

Two years after the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, directed the suspension of the implementation of the state’s new policy guidelines on the provision of safe abortions, the governor has yet to lift the suspension despite appeal by stakeholders.

Some stakeholders who spoke exclusively with PUNCH Healthwise on the need for the governor to reinstate the guideline without further delay, revealed that cases of unsafe abortion in the state had assumed a worrisome dimension due to the economic hardship.

Continued: https://punchng.com/sanwo-olu-keeps-mum-on-suspended-lagos-abortion-guidelines-two-years-after/

Zimbabwe – Lawmaker pushes for easier access to safe abortion

Sikhumbuzo Moyo
June 3, 2024

HWANGE Central MP, Mr Daniel Molokele, ignited a fiery debate in Parliament last week over the country’s Termination of Pregnancy Act, enacted in 1977. Mr Molokele called for a complete repeal of the law, citing its violation of the Constitution’s promotion of gender equality and placing women in dangerous situations.

“We have a law called the Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1977. It is one of the oldest laws in this country that is long overdue. It does not need to be amended, it needs to be repealed. It is possibly violating the Constitution of this country in terms of the clauses that speak to the promotion of gender equality,” said Mr. Molokele.

Continued: https://www.chronicle.co.zw/lawmaker-pushes-for-easier-access-to-safe-abortion/#google_vignette