7 Sep 2022
YANGON, Myanmar— “There is social stigma existing in our community to speak about sexual and reproductive health especially concerning adolescents and youth. People are too shy to talk about it. Since we have grown up under this shadow, we don’t even know that young people have the right to access sexual and reproductive health information,” said Thura, 15, a local youth from Yangon.
Young people in Myanmar face different social and cultural barriers to get right information about sexual and reproductive health and rights. Without having access to sexual and reproductive health information including family planning, young people tend to experience consequences such as unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion, leading to other life-threatening complications. According to 2014 Myanmar Population and Housing Census, the fertility rate of females aged 15-19 was 33 births per 1,000 women. Comparing to urban areas, the teenage fertility is higher in rural areas of states and regions. The data highlights the needs to enhance protection and promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and young people in remote places and in areas undergoing humanitarian crisis.
Mohammad Javed Pasha
July 31, 2022
Abortion is a public health concern besides being a sensitive issue with religious, moral, cultural and political dimensions. More than a quarter of the world’s people live in countries where the procedure is permitted only in cases of rape, incest, fetal abnormalities or to save the pregnant person’s life. Abortions still occur in these countries, nearly half of them are unsafe, performed by unskilled practitioners or in unhygienic conditions, or both.
Abortions performed in unsafe conditions claim the lives of tens of thousands of women around the world every year and leave many times that with chronic and often irreversible physical and mental health problems becoming a drain on the resources of public health systems. Controversy, however, often overshadows the public health impact. An estimated 73 million abortions occur globally each year. Unsafe abortions accounts for up to 13 percent of deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth worldwide. Globally, at least 7 million women are treated every year for complications from unsafe abortions.
24 June 2022
The widely anticipated Supreme Court decision, by six votes to three, was made in the specific case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health, and Michelle Bachelet said in a statement that it represents a “major setback” for sexual and reproductive health across the US.
The historic decision returns all questions of legality and access to abortion, to the individual states.
Reacting earlier to the US ruling, without making specific reference to it, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) noted that a staggering 45 per cent of all abortions around the world, are unsafe, making the procedure a leading cause of maternal death.
26 MAY 2021
By Thelma Chioma Abeku, Nigeria Health Watch (Abuja)
Indo (not her real name) was just 15 years old when she became pregnant. Her boyfriend took her to the only general hospital in their community to terminate the pregnancy. The general hospital did not offer safe abortion services, so, the midwife advised them to formally inform their parents and make necessary arrangements to have the baby. Indo was afraid of her parents' reaction and the stigma that she would face in the community for having a child before marriage. The midwife encouraged Indo to bring her mother to the clinic so she could speak with her. But Indo and her boyfriend were still shopping for other options and since they did not have access to other credible service providers, they decided to use a local herbal concoction to terminate the pregnancy. Two days after leaving the general hospital Indo was rushed back, lifeless and bleeding profusely. It took the midwife over four hours to control the bleeding. By this time, her parents were already aware, as they had to donate blood for their daughter. Indo was transfused with two pints of blood. She stayed two weeks in the clinic before making a full recovery.
April 29, 2021
By Venoranda Kuboka, Josephine Achieng and Maureen Kemunto
We don’t talk about religious fundamentalism enough, especially its negative effects on the rights, health and dignity of women in Kenya.
Religious fundamentalism is one of the most pervasive social maladies in Kenyan today, especially to the lives of women because it has stigmatized, restricted and criminalized access to essential reproductive health services.
November 22, 2020
By Sam Oditah
A 47-year-old single mother, Jane (surname withheld), lived in her dilapidated family house in a serene neighbourhood in Umuahia, the Abia capital. She relocated from Lagos in 2017 due to economic difficulties.
She lived with her 12-year-old daughter, Ebere, a junior secondary school student, and her aged auntie in a one-room apartment.
Painfully, Jane died on March 10 in rather sudden and bizarre circumstances.
By Janees Rafiq
26th October, 2020
Unsafe abortions have devastating effects on women’s health. Every year around 42 million women with unintended pregnancies choose abortion. Nearly half of these procedures that about 20 million abortions are unsafe. Around 68,000 women die because of unsafe abortions, making it one of the causes of increasing maternal mortality rate. Of women who survive unsafe abortions, 5 million suffer long-term health complications. Unsafe abortion is thus a pressing issue.
While some abortions are self-induced, most of them are performed by providers lacking required qualifications and skills to perform abortions and hence termed unsafe WHO defines unsafe abortion as a procedure for terminating an unintended pregnancy carried out either by persons lacking skills or in an environment that does not conform to minimal medical standards or both. According to WHO, every 8 minutes, a woman in a developing country dies due to complications arising out of unsafe abortions.
The president has given fringe anti-abortion groups unprecedented influence.
OCTOBER 8, 2020
By NEHA WADEKAR
On a rainy morning in May 2019, Dr. John Nyamu was attending to patients on the cluttered first floor of an office building in downtown Nairobi when he heard raucous shouts from down the street. A caravan of protesters was winding toward him, a few hundred people teeming in the streets, bellowing through loudspeakers, and stopping traffic.
As the crowd reached his building, Nyamu, a well-known gynecologist who performs abortions in a private clinic, peered through his window at the protesters below to make out what they were saying. It turns out they were targeting him. “Abortion is murder! Abortion must go! Nyamu must go!” Some held signs with photos of mutilated fetuses. Others clutched baby-size cardboard coffins with crosses on them.
Stevie Emilia and Rita Widiadana
The Jakarta Post, Tue, July 21, 2020
Just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic began wreaking havoc, leaders from across the globe, including Indonesia, reaffirmed their commitment to advancing the sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of their people.
The commitments were made during the 25th anniversary of the landmark Program of Action of the International Conference of Population and Development (ICPD) in Nairobi in November 2019.
Women Activists Escalate Demand for “Bodily Autonomy” as 19 Nations Dissent
By Thalif Deen
Jan 17, 2020
UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - The United States and 18 other UN member states have come under fire for denying a woman’s legitimate right to “bodily autonomy”—the right to self-governance over one’s own body without coercion or external pressure.
The Executive Director of Women’s March Global, Uma Mishra-Newbery, told IPS the United Nations has worked towards progress in fighting for women’s rights.