Malaysia – LETTER | Reduce adolescent pregnancy, uphold sexual and reproductive health

Federation of Reproductive Health Associations Malaysia
Published 9 Sep 2020

LETTER | We, leaders and representatives of civil society organisations, professional societies, scientific associations, faith-based organisations, government agencies and departments, private for-profit entities, non-governmental, non-profit organisations, and citizens of Malaysia, are united to reduce unintended adolescent pregnancies in Malaysia.

We desire a society where every person below 18 years of age enjoys health and well-being, is treated with love and respect, and is capable of realising their fullest potential. However, we are concerned with the reported rising rate of unprotected adolescent sexual activity, of which the health and social impacts include unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortion or miscarriages, disrupted education, child marriage, social stigma, and further victimisation.


Nigeria – High rate of unwanted pregnancy among adolescent: group urges PHCs to scale up

Isaac Eranga
September 2, 2020

Benin City: A youth-led non-governmental organization known as the Connected Advocacy for Empowerment and Youth Development Initiative (CAEYDI) has called on Primary HealthCare Centers (PHCs) to improve on their youth friendly reproductive health services in order to reduce the high rate of unwanted pregnancies prevalent among adolescent and youth in Edo State, saying adolescent are more vulnerable when it comes to unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion.


India – We Need To Talk About Unsafe Sex And Our Dilemmas Around Using Contraception

By Pragya Roy
September 2, 2020

As much as our country fears conversations around the word and the act of sex, especially outside the institution of marriage and/or for pleasure, the liberal and feminist circles which do widely dicusss sex, sexuality and the common anxieties around them, often tend to overlook one of the most prominent and anxiety-inducing notions—‘unsafe’ sex. In 2013, it was revealed that unsafe sex was the “second riskiest behaviour for boys and the greatest single risk to the health of girls,” in the worldwide risk table.

Although this particular study projected its findings solely on adolescents, unsafe and unprotected sex impacts other age groups too. Institutions of marriage, education and family, entwine with each other whereby factors like child marriage, lack of sex and sexuality education in schools and misogynistic structures engender diverse sexual and sexually violent episodes, especially for women and marginalised groups.


Nigeria – Prioritise sexual reproductive health for adolescent girls, Kaduna State govt told

August 19, 2020
By Sola Ogundipe

The Kaduna State Government has been urged to scale up, prioritise and protect adolescent girls’ sexual and reproductive health and services in the state in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state and in Nigeria at large.

Experts who spoke during a media roundtable organised by the Kaduna State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, KSPHCB, in collaboration with the Kaduna State COVID-19 Task Force with strategic support from the Society for Family Health, SFH, said the menace of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion could be effectively checked through the enabling of financial empowerment of adolescent girls.


#NiñasNoMadres: Argentines protest against the forced pregnancy of young girls

#NiñasNoMadres: Argentines protest against the forced pregnancy of young girls
'A pregnant girl is a raped girl'

Translation posted 6 April 2020

The only jurisdictions in Latin America where abortion is legal on request are Cuba, Uruguay, and a few states in Mexico. In Argentina, abortion is legal in only two circumstances: When the pregnancy poses a risk to the mother's life, and when the pregnancy is the result of rape.

On February 19, pro-choice activists demonstrated in front of the Argentine National Congress, in the capital Buenos Aires, calling for the approval of a bill that would make abortion fully legal. Protestors also demanded that the right to abortion in circumstances that are already allowed by Argentine law is also fulfilled.


Rwanda – Let’s stop restrictions on contraceptives for teenagers

Let’s stop restrictions on contraceptives for teenagers

By Andre Ndayambaje
Published : March 12, 2020

Mercy Mbabazi died at the age of 14 from severe infection due to unsafe abortion. Although she attempted to use emergency contraceptives to avoid that pregnancy, Mercy was not given the morning after pills because Rwandan laws say that teenagers need permission from their parents or must be accompanied by their guardians to access reproductive health services.

Mercy is just one case in an epidemic of teenage pregnancies sweeping Rwanda. Recent data shows that teenage pregnancies in the country have increased by 200 per cent in the last ten years. In the last four years, 78,000 teenage births were reported in Rwanda.


India – Criminalisation of even consensual sex between adolescents obstructs access to safe abortion for girls

Criminalisation of even consensual sex between adolescents obstructs access to safe abortion for girls

October 19, 2019
Vrinda Grover

Unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal mortality in India, leading to about 10 deaths every day. ‘The incidence of abortion and unintended pregnancy in India, 2015’ study records that of the 15.6 million abortions in 2015, only 22% were conducted in health facilities, whereas an overwhelming 78% abortions were done outside health facilities. Adolescent girls, in the age group of 16-18 years, are left at the mercy of life-threatening pregnancy termination methods. A 2010 facility-based study discloses that 20-30% of abortion seekers were unmarried young women and adolescent girls; and 16.7% of them were victims of sexual abuse.

Significantly, this life endangering vulnerability is abetted by the law. Section 19(1) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act stipulates mandatory reporting of all sexual offences against a child to the law enforcement authorities, and failure to report the same entails punitive consequences.


Uganda – Let us act against teenage pregnancy and unsafe abortions

Let us act against teenage pregnancy and unsafe abortions
These are serious public health, human rights and social equity dilemmas that must be addressed

Added 30th September 2019
By Umar Wewala

One in every four teenage girls in Uganda aged 15-19 years is a mother a child or pregnant. 42% of all the pregnancies among adolescents in Uganda are unintended.

Under the existing restrictive SRHR environment, a significant number of these pregnancies end up in unsafe abortions or culminate into pregnancy complications, sometimes leading to death.


Nigeria: How To End Unintended Pregnancies In Minors

How To End Unintended Pregnancies In Minors

on September 9, 2019
By By Media Advocacy Working Group

Women are most fertile and have the best chance of getting pregnant in their 20s. This is the time when they have the highest number of good quality eggs available and their pregnancy risks are lowest.

Based on this premise, going through labour and baby delivery should not be activities for minors, but in Nigeria, children getting pregnant and going through delivery is a common feature.


Nigeria – Family Planning Key To Reducing Abortion Rates Among Adolescents

Family Planning Key To Reducing Abortion Rates Among Adolescents

June 8, 2019
By Media Advocacy Working Group

When Udeme Akpa got admitted into secondary school, the joy of the parents knew no bounds. For them, it was like a prayer answered. As the first daughter of a family of eight, there were so many expectations including lifting the family from what could be described as ‘age-long poverty.’

Udeme, 18, was living up to expectation until the unexpected occurred. Her woes began one evening when a man in her neighbourhood gave her a ride to school.