A landmark court case could help activists seeking to revise Kenya's reproductive health policy.
WORLD REPORT| VOLUME 399, ISSUE 10334, P1456, APRIL 16, 2022.
The roll-out of a policy to promote and improve the reproductive health of
Kenyans has been suspended following protests from activists calling for
protection for patients who seek abortion services and the medical personnel
who provide them. On April 6, the Ministry of Health said that a new draft of
Kenya's Reproductive Health Policy 2022–32, which did not make any provision
for abortion, will be produced within 45 days, with civil society given an
opportunity to propose changes.
The decision follows a ruling on March 25 by Reuben Nyakundi, a High Court
judge in Malindi, who declared abortion-related arrests and prosecution
illegal, concluding that abortion care is a fundamental right under the
Constitution of Kenya, adding that protecting access to abortion affects vital
constitutional values, including dignity, autonomy, equality, and bodily
integrity. Although the Constitution allows it, Kenya's 1963 Penal Code still
criminalises all abortion care.