Ashley Judd speaks out on the right of women to control their bodies and be free from male violence

by Edith M. Lederer, The Associated Press
April 29, 2024

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Actor Ashley Judd, whose allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein helped spark the #MeToo movement, spoke out Monday on the rights of women and girls to control their own bodies and be free from male violence.

A goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Population Fund, she addressed the U.N. General Assembly’s commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the landmark document adopted by 179 countries at its 1994 conference in Cairo, which for the first time recognized that women have the right to control their reproductive and sexual health – and to choose if and when to become pregnant.


Nigeria – Ipas Donates Reproductive Health Commodities, Equipment To Kano Govt

Appolonia Adeyemi 
Apr 26, 2024

Ipas Nigeria Health Foundation in partnership with the Kano State Ministry of Health, State Primary Healthcare Management Board, and Hospital Management Board has donated reproductive health commodities and equipment to the Kano State Government to strengthen the capacity of the healthcare system to reduce preventable deaths from unsafe abortions and provide quality post abortion care (PAC) services.

Unsafe abortions are one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in Nigeria, contributing up to 15 per cent of maternal deaths. As part of the Government’s objectives to ending preventable maternal mortality, Ipas Nigeria Health Foundation is working in Kano State to support healthcare systems with relevant health commodities including – Uterine pelvic models, Manual Vacuum Aspirators (MVA), and Medical Abortion Combipacks.


Kenya – Lobbies decry rise in maternal deaths due to unsafe abortion

Lobbies said lots of unsafe abortions were happening especially in slums across the country

24 April 2024

Rights groups have decried what they termed increased mortality rates in the country resulting from unsafe abortions.

The sexual health rights lobby organisations on Wednesday attributed the problem to backward policies, stigma and politics surrounding safe abortion in the country. They include Trust For Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH) and Women Collective Kenya.


Blurring the lines – The stark reality of safe abortion access in Nigeria

In Nigeria, accessing safe abortion care is a contentious issue fraught with myths, misconceptions, and misinformation that often obscure the reality of sexual and reproductive healthcare.

April 22, 2024

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 73 million abortions take place worldwide every year. Worldwide, an estimated 22 million abortions continue to be performed unsafely each year, resulting in the death of an estimated 47,000 women and disabilities for an additional five million women with 29% of all pregnancies ending in an induced abortion. Almost every one of these death and disabilities could have been prevented through sexuality education, family planning, and the provision of safe, legal induced abortion and care for complications of abortion.

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Report: Decades of progress in sexual, reproductive health being rolled back

April 17, 2024
By Lisa Schlein

GENEVA — Decades of progress in sexual and reproductive health are being rolled back with the poorest, most vulnerable members of society at greatest risk of losing out on lifesaving services, according to the 2024 State of World Population report.

The report, issued Wednesday by the U.N. Population Fund, UNFPA, says, “The data are damning.”


‘Pregnancy is not a disease’: why do so many women die giving birth in Nigeria?

More than 80,000 Nigerian women died from pregnancy-related complications in 2020, a statistic activists say reflects a lack of political will to fix a broken medical system

by Kasia Strek in Lagos (The Guardian)
Tue 16 Apr 2024

Despite having the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria also loses more women to death in childbirth than most other countries in the world. In 2020, about 82,000 Nigerian women died due to pregnancy-related complications, a slight improvement on the previous year, but an increase on previous decades.

The causes of death included severe haemorrhage, high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia), unsafe abortion and obstructed labour. Doctors and activists say high maternal mortality rates reflect a lack of trust in a broken public healthcare system and little political will to fix it.


The Terrifying Global Reach of the American Anti-Abortion Movement

Conservatives have not limited their attack on reproductive rights to the United States. They’ve been busy imposing their will on other countries, too—with disastrous consequences for millions of poor women.

Jodi Enda
March 18, 2024

Because Editar Ochieng knew the three young men, she didn’t think twice when they beckoned her into a house in an isolated area near the Nairobi River. One was like a brother; the other two were her neighbors in the sprawling Kenyan slum of Kibera.

Ochieng did not know the woman who performed her abortion. She and a friend scoured Nairobi until they found her, an untrained practitioner who worked in the secrecy of her home and charged a fraction of what a medical professional would. Mostly, what Ochieng remembers is the agony when this stranger inserted something into her vagina and “pierced” her womb. “It was really very painful. Really, really, really painful,” she told me. Afterward, Ochieng said, she cut up her mattress to use in place of sanitary pads, which she could not afford. She was 16 years old.


Empowering mothers, securing futures: The quest for safe motherhood in the Philippines

March 01, 2024
By Gelaine Louise Gutierrez

Bringing a child into the world should be a joyous milestone, not a mortal risk. Yet in the Philippines, over 2,000 women lost their lives while giving birth in 2021 - more than double the number in 2019.

These preventable deaths underscore the urgent need to secure safe motherhood through robust healthcare access and empowerment of Filipino women. Giving birth remains one of the most dangerous moments for women in underserved communities lacking proper medical facilities and prenatal care.


Nigeria – Unsafe abortion fueling female infertility, maternal deaths, say gynaecologists

6th February 2024
By Janet Ogundepo

Maternal health experts have attributed the low contraceptive prevalence rate in the country to an increase in unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.

In separate exclusive interviews with PUNCH Healthwise, they cautioned that the continuous rise in unsafe abortion would lead to increased cases of infertility and maternal deaths. Already, Nigeria has a maternal mortality rate of 1,047 deaths per 100,000 live births, according to the World Health Organisation.


Stories of safe abortion care in Mozambique

29 JAN 2024
Médecins Sans Frontières

In every country, women from all walks of life may seek out an abortion at some time of their lives due to many reasons. Where safe abortion care is too difficult to access, people with an unwanted pregnancy often have no choice but to resort to unsafe abortion, one of the leading causes of maternal mortality globally.

To reduce the high number of women dying from unsafe abortion, Mozambique in 2014 legalised abortion up to 12 weeks and beyond in cases of rape, incest, and severe foetal anomalies such as heart defects. This essential care is provided free of charge. But even though abortion is free and legal, other barriers including stigma and misinformation can still make it difficult to access safe care.