Uganda – Unsafe Abortion: Less Privileged Girls Risk Succumbing to Complications Due to Exorbitant Post Abortion Treatment Costs

Esther Macula
October 7, 2020

Despite large reductions in pregnancy related deaths in Uganda over the past two decades (the maternal mortality ratio dropped from 684 to 100,000 live births in 1995 to 343 per 100,000 in 2015 as per Ministry of Health records), the high number of maternal deaths remains a public health challenge.

Unsafe abortion continues to contribute significantly
to maternal morbidity and mortality. A 2010 report by the Ministry of Health
estimated that 8% of maternal deaths were due to unsafe abortion.


Uganda – Abortion in marriages is rising up

Abortion in marriages is rising up

DAVID MAFABI | PML Daily Senior Staff Writer
March 26, 2020

MBALE – When Ms Sarah Nambozo got married, she had her family life planned out well. This is because she did not want to produce too early, too soon, too often and too late.

Her plan and target was to have three children and remain at her workplace stable by the age of 35. And everything had gone according to the plan by the time she gave birth to her third born in February 2017.


Uganda – Why we should prevent unsafe abortions

Why we should prevent unsafe abortions
Unsafe abortions are almost entirely preventable since they are majorly a result of unmet need for family planning.

By Lillian Namusoke Magezi
18th March 2019

At the end of July last year, Jowelia Nankya, a resident of Kyaliwajala, a Kampala suburb, got a 17-year-old maid from Serere district in Eastern Uganda.

She quickly noticed that the maid was sluggish and tended to sleep a lot. Nankya also noticed that their stock of sanitary towels, which she kept in the bathroom cabinet and their toilet roll got used up very fast.


Uganda – When rural women seek crude abortions to end unwanted pregnancies

When rural women seek crude abortions to end unwanted pregnancies

By DAVID MAFABI | PML Daily Senior Staff Writer
Posted on March 2, 2019

MBALE – Hanna Namutosi, 19, was raped by a mentally ill man while walking alone in a bushy village path in Bududa district.

And when she missed her first period, she thought nothing of it. Her periods had always been irregular. But after some time, she started vomiting in the morning and got nauseous whenever she the smelt eggs or mandazi or anything being fried.


Uganda’s untold abortion story

Uganda’s untold abortion story

October 24, 2018
Written by Zurah Nakabugo

One Margaret, 26, is among many Ugandan women who are at risk of suffering severe complications arising from unsafe abortion.

Margaret, a resident of Kazo Angola zone in Kampala, recently told The Observer that she almost died while terminating her pregnancy using local herbs. She was forced to come to Kawempe General hospital for proper care.

The mother of one says her second pregnancy came about after being raped late one night as she returned home from work. So, she decided to carry out an abortion.


Uganda – Allow girls to access to voluntary safe abortion to save lives

Allow girls to access to voluntary safe abortion to save lives
By DAVID MAFABI/PML Daily Reporter
Posted on May 27, 2018

SIRONKO: Jane Nakumiza, 17, lives in Nabidoko village in Sironko district and takes care of her nephew. Her mother died almost seven years ago following complications from a botched abortion.

She had reportedly become pregnant in a terrible gang rape during the ‘Kadodi’ dancing procession at night.

“She told us that she saw five men rape her and then she lost consciousness. She was just quiet most of the time after the rape; she didn’t want the baby and tried to abort two times, “says Nakumiza.


How abortion stigma is exposing medical students to risky behaviors in Uganda

How abortion stigma is exposing medical students to risky behaviors in Uganda

20th April, 2018

Sex is a reality, and we are proud to be sex-positive. As long as people are engaging in consensual experiences, safe2choose encourages and supports it. We do so by sharing accurate and stigma-free information, as well as facilitating access to safe abortion methods.

True autonomy comes with deep understanding of your options, your risks and your benefits. Therefore, one can never be autonomous without education on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Sadly, that’s exactly what we have witnessed among medical students from Uganda.


‘More Ugandan women aged 40 and above seek abortion services’

‘More Ugandan women aged 40 and above seek abortion services’

Wednesday March 7 2018

KAMPALA. Women above 40 years are increasingly accessing abortion services in the country, a senior gynaecologist attached to Mulago national referral hospital has revealed.

Dr Charles Kiggundu explained that this trend has taken the medical world by surprise since it’s usually abortions among teenagers that are common.


New Report Exposes Impact of Uganda’s Abortion Law Through Personal Stories

07.28.16 (PRESS RELEASE) Due to the unclear abortion law in Uganda, women and adolescents continue seeking unsafe abortions and are vilified by their families and communities—even the doctors and health workers who provide legal post-abortion care are being arrested, according to a new report by the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD).

“Facing Uganda’s Law on Abortion: Experiences from Women and Service Providers” is a sexual and reproductive health advocacy publication highlighting experiences and perspectives of individuals who have been affected by or dealt with abortion. The publication includes interviews with women and girls who ended pregnancies, as well as doctors, nurses, health worker, lawyers, police and community members.

Abortion in Uganda is legal in limited circumstances, yet approximately 85,000 women each year receive treatment for complications from unsafe abortion and an additional 65,000 women experience complications but do not seek medical treatment.

“Every woman and adolescent girl has a right to make informed decisions about their reproductive health,” said Onyema Afulukwe, senior legal advisor for Africa at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “Uganda’s abortion law punishes women and girls who choose to end a pregnancy and criminalizes the health workers that offer them legal post-abortion care. This new report shows that now, more than ever, the Ugandan government must clarify its law and expand access to safe and legal abortion services.” 

The Center for Reproductive Rights provided technical support for the CEHURD report, which addresses the current state of the abortion law in Uganda, the difficulties accessing lawful and safe abortion services, as well as enforcement of the abortion law by both the police and local communities.

Individuals stories highlighted in the report include among others:

  • Nabukeera Sarah, a 15 year old who was drugged and raped by a health worker when seeking medical treatment, and had to turn to an illegal abortion,
  • Dr. Kadaga Henry Francis, who was arrested and detained after providing a woman with post-abortion care who later died from unsafe abortion complications,
  • Wasswa Alex, a local community leader who reported a rape survivor with intellectual disabilities to police after neighbors ganged up on the woman for ending the pregnancy

Along with the new report, CEHURD released an accompanying video.

“These personal stories demonstrate how Uganda’s abortion law is working against the women and adolescents who need reproductive health services, and the health professionals who should be able to practice medicine without fear of incarceration,” said Moses Mulumba, executive director of CEHURD. “It’s time the government amend the abortion law and implement health policies to ensure women and girls can get the health services they need and deserve.”

The Center has worked extensively in Uganda on the human rights implications of lack of access to legal abortion and modern contraceptives. In November 2013, the Center, the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown Law released a joint report entitled The Stakes Are High: The Tragic Impact of Unsafe Abortion and Inadequate Access to Contraception in Uganda. The report documents personal stories of women impacted by the widespread and false impression that abortion is illegal in all circumstances in Uganda— when in fact it is permitted for women with life-threatening conditions and victims of sexual assault.

In 2012, the Center launched its first research report on Uganda's laws and policies on termination of pregnancy. The report found that the laws and policies are more expansive than most believe, and Uganda has ample opportunity to increase access to safe abortion services.

Source: Center for Reproductive Rights