Abortion, sexuality, global health and more: A chat with South Africa’s ‘Dr T’


If you haven’t heard of Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng—known popularly as Dr T—you have somehow missed her ubiquitous presence on radio, TV, social media and numerous other platforms. She’s a medical doctor, sex expert and health activist. She’s a member of the South Africa Commission on Gender Equality and was recently appointed as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. Dr. Mofokeng is also the author of A Guide to Sexual Health and Pleasure. She took time from her busy schedule to field some questions from Ipas.

Congratulations on your recent appointment as a UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health—and for being the first woman from Africa named to that post. What excites you most about this new role?

Continued: https://www.ipas.org/news/abortion-sexuality-global-health-and-more-a-chat-with-south-africas-dr-t/

Kenya – Unsafe abortion: The problem nobody wants to talk about

Unsafe abortion: The problem nobody wants to
talk about

August 31st 2020

The images still sneak up to her when she least expects. They come unannounced,
and they torture her. Eve never imagined that the process of trying to get rid
of an unplanned baby could leave her with physical and emotional scars that
have refused to go away.

When she speaks of abortion, she whispers. The shame she feels lingers in every
word she utters.

“I get bad dreams and I am haunted by the
act,” she says.

Continued: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/the-standard-insider/article/2001384569/unsafe-abortion-the-problem-nobody-wants-to-talk-about

Kenya – Teen pregnancy: Implement dormant health policies first

A problem we'd rather ignore than confront and find solutions to.


01 July 2020  

It is ironic that the moral police in Kenya tend to speak the loudest about
potential dangers rather than actual moral failures. This is evident in the
current conversations around teenage pregnancy and what we need to do to deal
with the problem.

One red hot coal in the debate is Comprehensive Sexuality Education, and
whether it is the solution or just another doorway to more sexual

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/columnists/2020-07-01-teen-pregnancy-implement-dormant-health-policies-first/

Poland: Reject New Curbs on Abortion, Sex Ed

Poland: Reject New Curbs on Abortion, Sex Ed
Don’t Manipulate Pandemic to Endanger Women, Adolescents

April 14, 2020
Human Rights Watch

(London) – Poland’s Parliament will consider regressive legislation this week that would restrict sexual and reproductive health and rights and put the lives and well-being of women and adolescents at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The legislation is scheduled for reading on April 15 or 16, 2020 as the country remains under a COVID-19-related state of emergency that bans group gatherings.

The bills under consideration were originally introduced in March 2018 and October 2019, and have since been stalled or not moved forward under the Parliament elected in November 2019. Both were met by street protests.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/14/poland-reject-new-curbs-abortion-sex-ed

Kenya – What is comprehensive sexuality education? A life saver.

What is comprehensive sexuality education? A life saver.

14 November 2019

NAIROBI, Kenya – “If I had known about safe sex in my teens, my life would never have turned out this way,” said 21-year-old Sithu* from Myanmar. He contracted HIV two years ago, despite being intimate only twice with his partner at the time.

Like millions of young people around the world, Sithu had never received any kind of comprehensive sexuality education, in school or elsewhere.

Continued: https://www.unfpa.org/news/what-comprehensive-sexuality-education-life-saver

Kenya – Medics’ attitude and stigma still a barrier to safe abortion

Medics’ attitude and stigma still a barrier to safe abortion
Law permits abortion in cases where mother's health is at risk

by Daniel Otieno
Star Blogs
07 November 2019

The Constitution of Kenya permits abortion if in the opinion of a trained health care provider, the life of the woman is in danger or if a written law permits it. A written law here being any legislation passed by Parliament that permits termination of a pregnancy.

However, despite the Constitution being in place, many women still undergo unsafe abortion including going for backstreet methods and untrained midwives. The attitudes of health workers that are backed by religious values, the stigma associated with an unintended pregnancy, limited conversations between parents and adolescents, a lack of life skills education in schools and limited allocations to improving maternal health contribute to cases of unsafe abortion.

Continued: https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/star-blogs/2019-11-07-medics-attitude-and-stigma-still-a-barrier-to-safe-abortion/

Leaked letter suggests US is rallying UN member states to oppose abortion

Leaked letter suggests US is rallying UN member states to oppose abortion
Attempt to ‘roll back the clock’ condemned as governments are urged to oppose UN support for reproductive rights

Liz Ford
Mon 23 Sep 2019

The US is understood to have written to UN member states urging them to join a “growing coalition” of countries rallying against abortion, in what seems to be the latest attempt by the Trump administration to rollback women’s rights.

A letter, seen by the Guardian, is believed to have been sent to governments deemed sympathetic to the administration’s view on reproductive health.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/sep/23/leaked-letter-suggests-us-is-rallying-un-member-states-to-oppose-abortion

NORWAY – New Government backsliding on abortion rights

NORWAY – New Government backsliding on abortion rights

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Mar 5, 2019

The government of Norway since the last election in 2017 had been led by a coalition of three parties. Last autumn, a fourth (anti-abortion) party was invited to join the coalition in order for the other three parties to obtain a majority of seats. The negotiations with this new party led to a new “regulation of the Norwegian abortion law”. Since 1978, the law had permitted abortion on request up to 12 weeks, with no reasons or permission required.

The new “regulation” is about multi-fetal pregnancy reduction, that is, in a pregnancy with more than one embryo/fetus, aborting some but not all, usually all but one or two. The practice is widely accepted and used in the USA and across Europe. It began in the early days of in vitro fertilisation, when multiple embryos were created in order to increase the chances of at least one implanting. In Norway, the reduction of multi-fetal pregnancies was regarded as covered by the abortion law. In 2001 the Law Department in the Ministry of Health stated that: “With multi-fetal pregnancies the legal right of the fetus or the mother has not changed, and the law applies in the same way for a single fetus pregnancy as for multi-fetus pregnancy.” And in 2016 they wrote: “The Law Department states that the abortion law also applies to fetus-reduction in multi-fetal pregnancies…”

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/norway-new-government-backsliding-on-abortion-rights/

There’s a backlash against sex education in ‘Feminist Canada’

There’s a backlash against sex education in ‘Feminist Canada’
Canada appears progressive on the world stage. But under pressure from the Christian right, Ontario’s premier scrapped modern sex education.

Nandini Archer
13 February 2019

The recent decision in the Canadian province of Ontario, to scrap its modern sex education curriculum, is “a significant retrogressive step” and “part of the backlash” against sexual and reproductive rights, said Sandeep Prasad, executive director of the NGO Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights.

Last year, the 2015 sex education curriculum for pre-teens, which addressed issues from consent to LGBT rights, was replaced with that from 1998. The provincial government also introduced a hotline – dubbed the “snitch line” by critics – for parents to report on teachers who continue to teach these topics.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/nandini-archer/backlash-against-sex-education-feminist-canada