Kenya – Entrench safe motherhood

To uphold the fundamental human right to health, as enshrined in the Constitution, maternal health must remain a top government priority.

Thursday, August 03, 2023

By Tamia Nuna, Youth Advocate

In 2020, nearly 800 women died daily from pregnancy- and childbirth-related preventable causes, a maternal death every two minutes. While the global maternal mortality ration (MMR) dropped by 34 per cent from 2000 figures, that 95 per cent of cases were in low- and lower-middle-income countries is a concern. Kenya had a high MMR, of 530 deaths per 100,000 live births, above the global average of 223, thus the urgent need for action.


Mozambique: 20 Years After Maputo, It’s a Long Road Ahead to Gender Equality

Two decades on from a landmark treaty advancing the rights of African women, gender equality remains alive on paper, elusive in practice.

12 JULY 2023
By Madalitso Kateta

Magret Kawala of Mponela in Dowa district, central Malawi had always experienced the joys of motherhood and married life. But when she became pregnant while nursing a nine-month-old child Kawala's fortunes changed.

When it was confirmed that she was three months pregnant, her instinct told her she had to go for an abortion. She discussed the issue with her husband, but since surgical abortion in Malawi is illegal and only permissible when a pregnancy pauses a threat to a woman, the couple opted for a backstreet abortion.


Kenya should consider withdrawing from Geneva Consensus Declaration that restricts abortion

By Kelvin Mokaya
July 7, 2023

Evidence shows that restricting access to abortion does not reduce the number of abortions. What it does is increase the likelihood of an unsafe procedure. According to the Guttmacher Institute, in countries with the least restrictive abortion laws, less than one per cent of abortions are typically unsafe. In the most restrictive, that number goes up to 31 per cent.

Over the past two decades, the health evidence, technologies and human rights rationale for providing safe, comprehensive abortion care have evolved greatly. However, despite these advances, the World Health Organisation estimates that there are approximately 22 million unsafe abortions annually, resulting in 47,000 deaths and five million complications that end in hospital admission.


Majority of Kenyans against abortion, new study shows

Monday, July 03, 2023
By Angela Oketch, Health and Science reporter

Nine out of 10 Kenyan adults say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases,  a new study shows.

A 24-country study by the Pew Research Center found that attitudes varied widely across countries, with religiously unaffiliated adults, people on the ideological left and women more likely to support legal abortion.


How a community-run helpline is helping women access safe abortion advice in Kenya

Sian Norris
June 20, 2023

In a leafy Nairobi suburb, the roaring traffic and human bustle of the city’s highways has receded into the distance. All that breaks the soft silence is the insistent ringing of the phone inside an office decorated with posters promoting sexual and reproductive rights. One poster explores consent: “is she shy, or too afraid to say stop?” Another exhorts the reader to “be true to you”, while one simply states “joy”.

Picking up that phone are the team behind Aunty Jane, a hotline which provides support for anyone with questions about their sexual and reproductive health, including how to access safe and legal abortion care.


Kenya – Laws on abortion will save women and girls

Abortion is protected by the constitution under Article26 (4).

Purity Nthiana
June 14, 2023

Abortion is a topic that has been very sensitive over the years. When people are asked about their opinion, they throw the ‘abortion is a crime’ statement with no further room for debate.

Dozens of women access abortion and post-abortion services yearly whether safe or unsafe. Abortion is protected by the constitution under Article 26 (4).


Kenya – Pharmacist Charged In Mombasa For Alleged Induced Abortion Of 15-Year-Old Girl

Jun 7, 2023

NAIROBI, Kenya - A pharmacist has been charged before a Mombasa court for allegedly conducting an induced abortion on a 15-year-old girl who had conceived through defilement.

Mombasa Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku heard that Amos Nzioki committed the offence on 3 June 2023 at his private chemist in Tudor.


Kenya – Doctors take stand on abortion rights for the survivors of rape

By Gardy Chacha
May 23, 2023

It is important that victims of rape and defilement – who consequently fall pregnant – are accorded medical abortion care by medical practitioners, when and if they make such a request.

This is the position of the Kenya Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society (Kogs) – an organisation of about 500 Kenyan doctors specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology.


Millie Odhiambo, Esther Passaris Team Up To Translate Kenyan Movie Into Law

By Richard Kamau  
Friday, 31 Mar 2023

Nairobi Woman Rep Esther Passaris and Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo attended the premiere of ‘Prayer For The Departed’, a Kenyan film based on the true story of a 14-year-old school girl who was raped and died after a botched abortion.

The film, which premiered at Prestige Cinema last weekend, is based on the life and death of JMM who was raped, tried to obtain a backstreet abortion from a local quack, was denied lifesaving hospital care at government facilities, and eventually died of kidney failure.


Kenya – Experts raise alarm over unsafe abortions among teenagers

By Mercy Kahenda
Feb. 6, 2023

After the initial shock and denial of finding out she was pregnant at 15 years, Branice, a resident of Musuro village in Baringo walked to Marigat Hospital to procure an abortion. Instead, she took counselling and enrolled in an Antenatal (ANC) clinic.

Once on her own, however, she opted to terminate the six weeks pregnancy as she feared she would drop out of school, and face the stigma that comes with teen pregnancy.