Bottlenecks in the law against abortion fueling deaths in post abortion care

Monday, April 29th, 2024
By George Kebaso

Remove hurdles that stand in the way of safe abortion for women in the country, especially teenagers, a group of civil society organisations and individual pharmacists have urged the government.

The argument is that even as the country’s laws have criminalised abortion, unintended pregnancies among young women in Kenya are still on the spiral, same as unsafe terminations of pregnancies, and increased trips to pharmacies for emergency contraceptives.


Ambiguous Abortion Laws Threaten Kenyan Women

Kate Gargano
April 27, 2024

The nature and wording of Kenyan abortion laws which prevent women from receiving safe abortions have recently come into question. As of 2010, Kenya’s constitution was revised to allow for abortions when the life of the mother is in danger or when the pregnancy was a result of rape and/or incest. However, legal avenues to receive an abortion continue to be restricted. Arbitrary enforcement of the pre-2010 constitution’s anti-abortion rhetoric, which not only banned abortions but also sought to punish those who performed them, causes confusion as to the procedure’s legality. Thus, doctors refrain from offering abortion procedures – forcing women, especially the impoverished and those living outside the capital, to resort to backstreet methods to receive the abortions they need. This discrepancy between what the law theoretically allows and the measures that are feasibly possible for someone in need to take has promoted a culture of precarity and fear for women and their advocates.


Kenya – Lobbies decry rise in maternal deaths due to unsafe abortion

Lobbies said lots of unsafe abortions were happening especially in slums across the country

24 April 2024

Rights groups have decried what they termed increased mortality rates in the country resulting from unsafe abortions.

The sexual health rights lobby organisations on Wednesday attributed the problem to backward policies, stigma and politics surrounding safe abortion in the country. They include Trust For Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH) and Women Collective Kenya.


The Terrifying Global Reach of the American Anti-Abortion Movement

Conservatives have not limited their attack on reproductive rights to the United States. They’ve been busy imposing their will on other countries, too—with disastrous consequences for millions of poor women.

Jodi Enda
March 18, 2024

Because Editar Ochieng knew the three young men, she didn’t think twice when they beckoned her into a house in an isolated area near the Nairobi River. One was like a brother; the other two were her neighbors in the sprawling Kenyan slum of Kibera.

Ochieng did not know the woman who performed her abortion. She and a friend scoured Nairobi until they found her, an untrained practitioner who worked in the secrecy of her home and charged a fraction of what a medical professional would. Mostly, what Ochieng remembers is the agony when this stranger inserted something into her vagina and “pierced” her womb. “It was really very painful. Really, really, really painful,” she told me. Afterward, Ochieng said, she cut up her mattress to use in place of sanitary pads, which she could not afford. She was 16 years old.


Breaking the Silence: Abortion Rights in Kenya

WATCH: Our documentary investigates Kenya’s hidden crisis, claiming the lives of more than 2,000 people a year

18 March 2024
Open Democracy
Film:  45 minutes

Legal ambiguity over abortions in Kenya pushes thousands of women into unsafe reproductive health care services each year. It’s a hidden crisis that has claimed the lives of over 2,000 people annually, while many more end up facing life-altering complications.

In this openDemocracy/BBC joint investigation, Linda Ngari explores how abortion is shrouded in stigma and misinformation, with desperate women turning to dangerous methods.

Who is responsible for this public health crisis and what can be done to save these lives? Interviewing Kenyan women, doctors, campaigners and religious groups, Ngari breaks the taboo around abortion – and shows how controversial ‘crisis pregnancy centres’ have been allowed to flourish.


Welcome to El Salvador where a miscarriage sends you to jail

Tuesday, January 23, 2024
By Moraa Obiria, The Nation

What you need to know:
The country in Central America has laws tormenting women and girls with the harshest abortion laws under the sun.
Should a woman abort, regardless of circumstances, the law sends them to jail for between two to eight years.
A 19-year-old woman who miscarried after a rape ordeal was charged with aggravated homicide-intentional and premeditated killing of another person - and jailed for 30 years.


Breaking the Silence: Abortion Rights in Kenya – BBC Africa Eye documentary

BBC News Africa
Nov 26, 2023
Film:  45 minutes

Across the world, debates are raging about access to safe abortion. Complications from unsafe, backstreet procedures are a leading cause of maternal death in developing countries. In Kenya, where almost two-thirds of pregnancies are unintended, unregulated terminations are estimated to claim the lives of over 2,000 women every year.

BBC Africa Eye reporter Linda Ngari investigates a hidden crisis that has led to an estimated seven Kenyan women dying from unsafe abortions every day, with many more facing life-altering complications.


Kenya abortion: Women go to backstreet clinics amid legal ambiguity

Legal ambiguity over abortions in Kenya is pushing thousands of women to turn to backstreet clinics. BBC Africa Eye explores how abortion is shrouded in stigma and misinformation.

26th November 2023
By Zoe Flood, Linda Ngari & Tamasin Ford, BBC Africa Eye, Nairobi & London

Edith is lying on a bed covered in old newspaper in a backstreet clinic in Nairobi.

Her legs are held high by stirrups while a man in a white medical coat explains he is about to put some medicine inside her uterus. A red bucket of bleach containing medical instruments sits on the floor.


Kenya – ‘We Lost Our Daughters To Unsafe Abortion’

Nov 25, 2023
The Nation

Deep in Kharanda village, a few kilometres from Kakamega town, Catherine Nyongesa, 55, strolls along a fence enclosing her modest homestead.

On the left side of her mud-walled house, she points to an unmarked grave of her late daughter, Naomi. She was her third-born child who died at the age of 14.


Cleric in push for safe abortion in hope to end premature deaths

By Nathan Ochunge
Nov 13, 2023

When his name is mentioned, Reverend Johnson Bukachi conjures the image of a controversial preacher. He has been advocating for access to safe reproductive health services, such as safe abortion and family planning, in the conservative setting of Khwisero sub-county.

Reverend Bukachi, 69 and affiliated with the Church of God (East Africa), has undertaken a courageous journey in his quest to ensure women and girls of reproductive age can access these services without discrimination.