Kenya – Act fast to end deaths from unsafe abortions

By EVELYNE ODHIAMBO
September 25th 2020

Without a doubt, abortion is a controversial subject in this country. It evokes a lot of emotion and receives opposition from religious leaders, conservative pockets of society and anti-choice groups.

Yet no matter how much we may try to moralise abortion, women and girls’ lives remain at risk. An estimated 2,600 Kenyan women die from unsafe abortions annually (approximately seven every day), according to a joint 2016 report by the Ministry of Health and the African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC).

Continued: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/commentary/article/2001387625/act-fast-to-end-deaths-from-unsafe-abortions


Kenya – Explainer: Reproductive Healthcare Bill, 2019

Every person has the right to the highest attainable standard of health.

by HENRY MAKORI
21 September 2020

Opinion is sharply divided over the Reproductive Healthcare Bill, 2019 that is before Parliament. It has led to strong exchanges between supporters and opponents.

The sponsor of the Bill, Nakuru Senator Susan
Kihika, explains in the Memorandum of Objects and Reasons that the proposed law
is meant to actualise the constitutional guarantee that every person has the
right to the highest attainable standard of health, including the right to
reproductive healthcare (Article 43).

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/2020-09-21-explainer-reproductive-healthcare-bill-2019/


‘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/


Kenya condemns women to ‘death by unsafe abortion’, campaigners warn

September 5, 2020, Thomson Reuters Foundation
By Nita Bhalla

NAIROBI: Thousands of women are dying every year in Kenya due to botched backstreet abortions, campaigners have warned, 10 years after the introduction of safeguards to abortion access when a woman’s life is in danger.

Kenya’s 2010 constitution broadened access to abortion, permitting it when a woman’s life is at risk or in case of an emergency, and guaranteeing the right to life and reproductive health services.

Continued: https://www.thedispatch.in/kenya-condemns-women-to-death-by-unsafe-abortion-campaigners-warn/


List abortion as an essential service during Covid-19

This will reduce abortion-related mortality and morbidity.

by DANIEL OTIENO
01 September 2020

According to the World Health Organization, lack of access to safe abortion results in 45 per cent of all abortions globally being unsafe and 13 per cent of maternal mortality worldwide. In addition, WHO has listed reproductive health services, including care during pregnancy and childbirth, as essential services.

However, the challenge lies in ensuring safe abortion care as a component of reproductive health service. The emergence of Covid-19 has further worsened the sexual and reproductive health of women, who may be in danger of pregnancy complications and are therefore at risk of unsafe abortion.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/columnists/2020-09-01-list-abortion-as-an-essential-service-during-covid-19/


Kenya – Unsafe abortion: The problem nobody wants to talk about

Unsafe abortion: The problem nobody wants to
talk about

By MERCY KAHENDA AND SAADA HASSAN
August 31st 2020

The images still sneak up to her when she least expects. They come unannounced,
and they torture her. Eve never imagined that the process of trying to get rid
of an unplanned baby could leave her with physical and emotional scars that
have refused to go away.

When she speaks of abortion, she whispers. The shame she feels lingers in every
word she utters.

“I get bad dreams and I am haunted by the
act,” she says.

Continued: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/the-standard-insider/article/2001384569/unsafe-abortion-the-problem-nobody-wants-to-talk-about


Kenya condemns women to ‘death by unsafe abortion’, campaigners warn

AUGUST 26, 2020
Nita Bhalla

NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Thousands of women are dying every year in Kenya due to botched backstreet abortions, campaigners have warned, 10 years after the introduction of safeguards to abortion access when a woman’s life is in danger.

Kenya’s 2010 constitution broadened access to abortion, permitting it when a woman’s life is at risk or in case of an emergency, and guaranteeing the right to life and reproductive health services.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kenya-women-rights/kenya-condemns-women-to-death-by-unsafe-abortion-campaigners-warn-idUSKBN25M1ZC


Kenya – On the 10th Anniversary of Kenya’s Constitution, Center Report Urges Government to Enforce Abortion Rights Protections

08.25.2020

Each year in Kenya, more than 2,500 women and girls die from unsafe abortions—despite the fact that the government legalized abortion under specific circumstances a decade ago in its Constitution. Currently, unsafe abortions are a leading cause of maternal mortality, especially among low-income women.

Today, on the 10th anniversary of the Kenyan Constitution, the Center has published a new report, A Decade of Existence, Revealing Progress, Reversal, and Betrayal of a National Compromise, which details how the government’s failure to uphold its constitutional obligations has harmed its citizens.

Continued: http://reproductiverights.org/kenya-constitution-abortion-report


USA – It’s past time to be rid of the legacy of Jesse Helms

by Anu Kumar and Serra Sippel
08/07/20

You’ve likely never heard of the Helms Amendment, or perhaps not until now that Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), along with Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Barbara Lee(D-Texas), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Norma Torres (D-Calif.), have introduced legislation to repeal it. But our guess is you’ve heard of the late North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms.

In 1973, Helms, an outspoken opponent of civil rights — really, he opposed rights for anyone not white, male, heterosexual, American and Christian — introduced the Helms Amendment. The policy prohibits any U.S. foreign assistance funds from being used for “the performance of abortion as a method of family planning.” As written, the Helms Amendment allows for the provision of abortion information and counseling in cases of rape, incest and if a woman’s life is in danger. But in effect, it has been interpreted as a total ban on abortion-related services and information in developing countries.

Continued: https://thehill.com/opinion/international/511037-its-past-time-to-be-rid-of-the-legacy-of-jesse-helms


In Kenya, alarm over rise in teen pregnancies during pandemic

Issued on: 03/08/2020

Sixteen-year-old Linnet covers her face bashfully, mumbling into her hands as she recounts how she met the young man who bought her fries and gave her money, before leaving her pregnant and facing even greater poverty than before.

She is one of thousands of teenagers who fall pregnant every year in Kenya, a problem experts fear is worsening during the coronavirus pandemic, with some girls pushed into transactional sex to survive while others have more sex as they stay home from school.

Continued: https://www.france24.com/en/20200803-in-kenya-alarm-over-rise-in-teen-pregnancies-during-pandemic