Coca-Cola and quacks
How Kenya's restrictive abortion laws are fuelling infanticide
Kenya is in the grip of an infanticide crisis – driven by poverty, unwanted pregnancies and muddled abortions laws. Adrian Blomfield discovers the deadly consequences of restricting reproductive rights. Pictures by Simon Townsley
November 25, 2019
On the streets of Nairobi, out of official earshot, nurses say there are different ways of killing unwanted babies.
Some young mothers feed them Coca-Cola instead of breast milk to make their organs collapse. Ginger beer is said to work just as well. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of others, are left to die in pit-latrines, rivers and rubbish dumps.
Or there is always the option of getting someone else to do the deed. Quacks on the back streets of urban slums are often only too willing to end a late-term pregnancy by inducing a living infant and then finishing it off with a blow to the head.