Battery acid, cassava sticks and clothes hangers: We must end the global gag rule

Critics say the policy has led to deep cuts in funding for family planning

Nelly Munyasia, Womba Wanki
2 Dec 2020

On 23 January 2017, United States President Donald Trump issued an expansion of the Mexico City Policy, or “global gag rule” (GGR), last implemented under George W Bush. The GGR blocks US global health assistance to any foreign nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) that perform abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the life of the woman; provide counselling on, or referrals for, abortion; or lobby for the liberalisation of abortion law. This stance is enforced even if the NGOs use non-US funds for these aspects of healthcare.

She Decides — a global women’s rights movement, of which we’re both members — was a direct response to the reinstatement of the GGR and its devastating effect on the lives and freedoms of women and girls. We are, therefore, encouraged by early indications that president-elect Joe Biden is expected to rescind this devastating rule as one of the new administration’s first acts.

Continued: https://mg.co.za/africa/2020-12-02-battery-acid-cassava-sticks-and-clothes-hangers-we-must-end-the-global-gag-rule/


International Safe Abortion Day – Zambia DJ Shows Support

30 September 2020

Community Radio (Youth DJ Nchimunya Chadukwa whilst spinning his records) interviewed Dr. Whyson Munga, an OB-GYN at the Women and Newborn Hospital at Lusaka's University Teaching Hospital, to learn more about the sexual reproductive rights of adolescents and to better understand the issue of current statistics on early pregnancies in young people, and the impact of unsafe abortion on and why access to safe abortion services is a fundamental human right of all women/girls in Zambia.

The idea of the radio programme stemmed from the advocacy training by FIGO in June. Local youth community-based organisations and doctors agreed to jointly host a radio programme with the latter playing the role of interviewee and the former as DJ/interviewers. It was felt that to reach out to the young audience and make it more relatable, it would be interesting for young people themselves to run the show.

Continued: https://www.figo.org/news/international-safe-abortion-day-zambia-dj-shows-support


Changing Africa’s abortion laws

Aug 12, 2020
15-minute podcast

This week, Africa Science Focus takes a closer look at how women in Sub-Saharan Africa access abortions.

Episode Two

Malawi’s maternal mortality rate remains one of the highest in the world, with
complications from unsafe abortion estimated to account for up to 18 per cent
of maternal deaths.

“This current law now is killing people, it’s killing women, it’s killing
girls, because it’s not safe, it’s not accommodative,” a woman who was unable
to access a legal abortion tells Africa Science Focus.

Continued: https://www.scidev.net/global/health/africa-science-focus/changing-africa-s-abortion-laws-1x.html


Zambia – UNFPA warns against unsafe pregnancies

UNFPA warns against unsafe pregnancies

December 25, 2019
NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka

THE United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has warned against unsafe abortion which could lead to injury, disability or death among women and girls.

UNFPA says there is therefore need to raise awareness among women and clinicians that there is, however, abortion legislation in Zambia that allows women to seek safe abortions at health centres.

Continued: http://www.daily-mail.co.zm/unfpa-warns-against-unsafe-pregnancies/


Africa – What difference does a law make?

What difference does a law make?

Unsafe abortion – responsible for some 18% of all maternal deaths in sub-Saharan Africa – is one of the most neglected sexual and reproductive health problems in the world today. A new collection in International Journal for Equity in Health aims to shed light on the articulation between the legal, political, social, and cultural conditions that work to enhance or hinder access to safe abortion services.

Marte E. S. Haaland
19 Dec 2019

Worldwide, as many as 19-20 million women resort to unsafe abortions every year. Many of these result in complications that cause considerable damage and even death, making abortion a key issue of women’s health and gender equity. Nevertheless, abortion remains a contentious issue among global health actors, and is often neglected and overlooked. When abortion is addressed, it is commonly discussed in terms of legalization or criminalization, and liberal abortion laws are often understood as synonymous to easy access to abortion services. A recently published collection in the International Journal for Equity in Health scrutinizes this assumption and asks the question: What difference does an abortion law really make for girls’ and women’s access to safe abortion services?

Continued: https://blogs.biomedcentral.com/on-health/2019/12/19/what-difference-does-a-law-make/


100 Women: The modern face of the ‘DIY abortion’

100 Women: The modern face of the 'DIY abortion'

6 June 2018

Global online searches for abortion pills have more than doubled over the last decade, BBC analysis of Google searches shows. The findings also suggest that in countries where abortion laws are more restrictive, there is greater search interest in abortion pills.

By buying pills online and sharing medical advice through WhatsApp groups, women are increasingly turning to technology to sidestep legal barriers to abortion.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-44089526


Zambia: Media, civil society urged to work together on reproductive health

Media, civil society urged to work together on reproductive health

July 22, 2017
ARTHUR MWANSA, Lusaka

GOVERNMENT has called on the media and civil society organisations to co-exist to ensure information on sexual and reproductive health is made available to the public in a more accurate and relevant manner.

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services director of press and media development, Isaac Chipampe also implored the media to tone down on political rhetoric and instead write more on challenges affecting people, especially on their health.

Speaking during a breakfast meeting yesterday, Mr Chipampe said sexual and reproductive health matters and the magnitude on unsafe abortion in Zambia need to be disseminated and enable the public to know.

Continued at source: Daily Mail: https://www.daily-mail.co.zm/media-civil-society-urged-to-work-together-on-reproductive-health/


Zambia: Adolescents muse on reproductive health encounters

Adolescents muse on reproductive health encounters
May 23, 2017

LILLIAN BANDA, Lusaka

ONE of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 is that by 2030, the world should ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services, including the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes.

One of the proposed indicators of this target is that the proportion of women of reproductive age 15-49 years- should have their need for family planning satisfied with modern methods.

Increased access to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) information and services is key to reducing the number of girls becoming pregnant, leading to a reduction in the number of unsafe abortions among this age group, which according to expert reports, is mostly affected by unsafe abortions.

Continued at source: Daily Mail: https://www.daily-mail.co.zm/adolescents-muse-on-reproductive-health-encounters/


Africa: Abortion’s moral questions are best addressed outside criminal law

Abortion's moral questions are best addressed outside criminal law
Wednesday January 18 2017, Daily Nation

By LIZA KIMBO

In June 2013, Louise (not her real name), an 18 year old girl in junior high school, was four-months pregnant when she attempted to procure an abortion in Kigali, Rwanda.

Because of stigma around abortion in her community, she visited a private clinic outside Kigali where the doctor gave her some pills. When she returned to Kigali, she began haemorrhaging and sought assistance from her neighbours, who immediately informed the police after discovering that she had attempted to procure an abortion.

[continued at link]
Source, Daily Nation: http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/blogs/decriminalising-abortion-maternal-mortality-Africa/620-3522700-rss702/


Zambia must protect women’s right to make free sexual and reproductive choices

by Louise Carmody & Bob Mwiinga Munyati, Africa 29 Sep 2016 01:08 (South Africa)

As Zambians took to the polls last month they voted not only for their choice of president, but also in a constitutional referendum proposing changes to the bill of rights. While President Edgar Lungu was declared the winner of the election, political figures lamented the outcome of the failed referendum as a missed opportunity for Zambians to advance protection for social and economic rights after it didn’t meet the 50% voter turnout threshold required to make it a supreme law of the country. By LOUISE CARMODY and BOB MWIINGA MUNYATI.

For many women’s rights advocates, Zambia’s failed referendum is a welcome reprieve. The draft included problematic clauses that could have seriously undermined the human rights of women and girls in Zambia.

[continued at link]
Source: Daily Maverick