‘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/

Ghana – Reducing Unsafe Abortions, The Need For A More Comprehensive Services And Care For Women

By Afedzi Abdullah

Despite Ghana having relatively liberal laws on abortion, the procedure continues to be highly stigmatised, and as a result, many abortions are done illegally.

Consequently, the country is lacking accurate data on abortion incidence and unintended pregnancies which are very essential to planning reproductive health services.

Continued: https://www.modernghana.com/news/1028434/reducing-unsafe-abortions-the-need-for-a-more.html

Determined more than ever to end abortion stigma, inroads enters a new era of independence


Imagine a world without the stigma surrounding abortion. Abortion would be recognized as health care. People would not be deprived of their right to make their own reproductive decisions. Abortion providers would not be isolated or face physical threats on their lives.

A world free of abortion stigma is the vision driving the work of the International Network for the Reduction of Abortion Discrimination and Stigma (inroads), a network and global community of practice that grew out of a 2013 meeting on abortion stigma co-convened by Ipas and Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH). Inroads was launched following that meeting, with Ipas serving as its host and providing operational support. Today inroads is a network of scholars, advocates, health providers and donors representing 1,500 members and 105 countries.

Continued: https://www.ipas.org/news/determined-more-than-ever-to-end-abortion-stigma-inroads-enters-a-new-era-of-independence/

Does Having An Abortion Affect Your Fertility?

Alice Broster, Forbes
Sep 2, 2020

Abortions are recognized as a human right by the World Health Organisation as a person has the right to “decide freely and responsibly without coercion and violence the number, spacing and timing of their children.” However, a lot of misinformation and misconceptions are attached to abortions and future pregnancies. So, does having an abortion affect your fertility? This is such a relevant question as people seek out abortion procedures for a multitude of reasons with the intention of having a family in the future. Myths like this only attach stigma and prevent people from accessing information and treatment.

The Guttmacher Institute estimates that between 2015 and 2019 there were 121 million unintended pregnancies each year globally. Of those unintended pregnancies, 61% ended in abortion. When you’re considering having an abortion it’s totally natural that you’d think about your fertility in the long run. And the short explanation is that there’s no evidence that would suggest that either a medical or surgical abortion causes infertility when done in a safe setting.

Continued: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicebroster/2020/09/02/does-having-an-abortion-affect-your-fertility/#1af946ac5ef6

Africa – Abortion is healthcare – and this makes it a human right

Reproductive justice is about much more than the freedom to choose to terminate a pregnancy or not – it challenges systems of oppression and discrimination and calls for a focused action plan for law reform.

By Tlaleng Mofokeng
14 August 2020

Dignity, bodily integrity, equality, safety and security, and health – including reproductive health – are human rights.

States must work to ensure that all people, regardless of gender, age, immigration or documentation status, geography or class, are able to access life-affirming and comprehensive healthcare. No circumstances or interventions should lead to discrimination, obstruction of access to abortion, or complications or death due to unsafe procedures.

Continued: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-08-14-abortion-is-healthcare-and-this-makes-it-a-human-right/

USA – Pearl Ricks: Race and Privilege are Major Gatekeepers to Abortion Care

by Corinne Ahrens      

In June Medical Services v. Russo, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Louisiana’s Unsafe Abortion Protection Act—a predatory law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. If left unchecked, the law had the potential to virtually eliminate abortion access across the state, leaving thousands of Louisianan-residents with no way to obtain a safe, legal abortion.

The Louisiana law argued in June Medical is identical to a Texas law struck down in the 2016 Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt case, as both required a 30-mile admitting privilege requirement for physicians. Both laws purport to protect those seeking an abortion—but were actually intended to shut down clinics and deny abortion care to those who need it most.

Continued:  https://msmagazine.com/2020/07/27/pearl-ricks-race-and-privilege-are-major-gatekeepers-to-abortion-care/

South Asia – ASEAN Underground Abortion

ASEAN Underground Abortion

Athira Nortajuddin
6 July 2020

Abortion is an extremely taboo topic in some parts of conservative Southeast

ASEAN member states such as the Philippines and Lao do not permit abortion.
Whereas Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand only allow abortion if a medical
practitioner deems that continuing the pregnancy poses a danger to the mother’s
life and health.

Continued: https://theaseanpost.com/article/asean-underground-abortion

Thailand – A choice, not a death warrant

A choice, not a death warrant
Many unaware safe abortion an option

29 Jun 2020
Penchan Charoensuthipan

Noi thought her world had tumbled down when she discovered she was pregnant at
the age of 50.

But it has dawned on Noi, a teacher, that an unwanted pregnancy could happen to
any woman, young or old. What compounds the already dire situation for many
women is that they feel their only choice is to have an illegal abortion.

Continued: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1942568/a-choice-not-a-death-warrant

Africa – It’s time to end the stigma and silence around abortion

It's time to end the stigma and silence around abortion

24 June 2020

Especially for the many women who have unsupportable pregnancies, abortion is a vital yet normal medical procedure during their reproductive lives. When performed properly, abortion procedures are safe and can saves women's lives. However, unlike other reproductive health services, abortion is enveloped by stigma and silence, which leads to many women in Africa and globally lacking access to this crucial health service.

It is indeed a dichotomy that abortion remains such a highly stigmatised issue in countries that have the most progressive abortion laws around the world. Our much-celebrated choice on termination of pregnancy regulations in many African countries promote the reproductive rights and freedom of choice of women by allowing them to have a safe and legal abortion. Such regulations have saved the lives of many women.

Continued: https://www.ippmedia.com/en/editorial/its-time-end-stigma-and-silence-around-abortion

What Does a New 10-Year Study Teach Us About What We Talk About When We Talk About Abortion?

What Does a New 10-Year Study Teach Us About What We Talk About When We Talk About Abortion?

By Diana Greene Foster
June 23, 2020

About 10 years ago, I was at a gathering of mothers whose children went to the same day care as my kids. A new mom had joined the group, and someone pointed at me and said, “That woman studies abortion.” From across the room, I heard her reply, “I don’t know how anyone could kill their baby.” Then, silence. Everyone had heard this comment, but nobody wanted to engage.

When that mom left the gathering, maybe half an hour later, the stories poured out. One woman told us she had had an abortion in high school, and she felt so grateful for it because it allowed her to have two intended pregnancies as an adult.

Continued: https://www.vogue.com/article/new-book-the-turnaway-study