‘A perilous future’: UK aid budget cuts will ‘cause’ 23,500 maternal deaths

Exclusive: Cuts will leave extra 6.5 million people unable to get contraception

Maya Oppenheim, Women’s Correspondent
June 7, 2021

The UK’s cuts to the aid budget will result in 23,500 women dying while pregnant, during childbirth or from unsafe abortions which go wrong, experts have warned.

MSI Reproductive Choices, a leading reproductive health charity, estimates the maternal deaths will be the result of cuts to its services, leaving an extra 6.5 million people in the most “marginalised, remote” areas not able to get the contraception they “desperately” require.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-aid-budget-cuts-maternal-deaths-b1861066.html

What You Didn’t Know About Abortion In Ghana

By Alpha Osei Amoako

Unsafe abortion is the second most common cause of maternal mortality in Ghana. It accounts for about 15% of maternal deaths in the country. Unsafe abortion is very common amongst teenagers, women in their 20s and poor women probably because—they either do not know where to get safe abortions or they do not have access to financial resources.

Also, the stigma associated with abortion is one major reason why most teenagers and women in their early 20s resort to orthodox methods or practice unsafe abortion.

Continued: https://www.modernghana.com/news/1083798/what-you-didnt-know-about-abortion-in-ghana.html

Family Being: Curbing Escalating Rate Of Unplanned Pregnancies In Nigeria

May 8, 2021

By The Society For Media Advocacy On Health,

Unplanned pregnancies, which is referred to a pregnancy that is either
unintended which occurred when no children or no more children were desired, or
is mistimed, occurred earlier than desired has been escalating in Nigeria

The 2018 global family planning report showed that Nigeria recorded over 1.3
million unplanned pregnancies in 2018 and only 13.8 percent of Nigerian women
use contraceptives within the period.

Continued: https://leadership.ng/family-being-curbing-escalating-rate-of-unplanned-pregnancies-in-nigeria/

OBGYNs in Mozambique call to strengthen gender equality and access to safe abortion

30 April 2021
Eunice Themba, Project Manager, AMOG

In a year that saw access to reproductive health services diminish due to
COVID-19 and associated restrictions, International Women’s Day 2021 provided a
welcome opportunity to reflect on, learn about and advocate for important
women’s health topics, including access to safe abortion. Unsafe abortion
remains a huge cause of preventable maternal mortality and morbidity.

The World Health Organization estimates that around 13% of maternal deaths are
attributable to unsafe abortion, and that around 3 in every 4 abortions in
Africa and Latin America are unsafe. According to the 2011 Demographic Health
Survey, unsafe abortion was a leading cause of preventable maternal death in
Mozambique, one of ten countries in FIGO’s Advocating Safe Abortion Project. In
order to reverse this dramatic situation that affects girls and women, the new
Penal Code of 2014 was approved (law Nr 35/2014 of December 31st), that was
revised in 2019 (Law Nr 24/2019 of December 24th), which included, in Article
168, the modalities that make abortion non-punishable.

Continued: https://www.figo.org/news/obgyns-mozambique-call-strengthen-gender-equality-and-access-safe-abortion

Time to stop sacrificing lives of Kenyan women and girls at the altar of religious fundamentalism

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.

Continued: https://citizentv.co.ke/blogs/opinion-time-to-stop-sacrificing-lives-of-kenyan-women-and-girls-at-the-altar-of-religious-fundamentalism-10798167/

Malta – Let’s Talk Abortion: MMSA Abortion Debate

Antónia Fortunato

Two weeks ago, I watched a debate organised by Malta Medical Students’ Association (MMSA). Under the theme of the legalisation of abortion, Doctors for Choice (DC) and Doctors for Life (DL) presented their cases. As you may have guessed from their names, DC are pro-abortion and DL are not.

In Malta, the law is adamant: any woman that tries to abort — and any practitioner that helps her — faces prison for up to four years. Yet 300-400 Maltese women travel abroad every year to have an abortion. Despite the law, many others buy illegal abortion pills and terminate their pregnancy on the island. According to DC, women facing complications will hesitate to seek medical help under the fear of being prosecuted.

Continued: https://www.um.edu.mt/think/lets-talk-abortion-mmsa-abortion-debate/

Pakistan – A strange paradox

Rizwana Naqvi
April 23, 2021

To say that we live in a patriarchal society would be a cliché, but how else can we describe a society where women can’t even make decisions regarding their own body, and regarding when and how many children to have.

Feminists have for years been advocating for equal rights for women not only in education and health but in all spheres of life. And when it comes to women’s rights, reproductive health is an important segment where women need to make informed decisions. Unfortunately, according to the State of World Population 2019 report, Pakistan’s maternal mortality (death due to pregnancy-related complication) rate was still as high as 178 women per 100,000. Though it has improved from 276 in 2008 and 375 per 100,000 in 1995, it is still quite high, as compared to other countries in the region.

Continued: https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/824468-a-strange-paradox

Kenya – Timely conversation on reviewing age of consent

For Citizen Digital
Published on:  April 21, 2021
By Dr. Stellah Bosire

The controversial debate on age of consent, an emotive matter, recently arose again as I responded to various queries on the relevance of legal reforms in Kenya.

At the crux of this question is the unjust, unnecessary and unrealistic legal statutes which impose harsh and unfair consequences on adolescent young boys engaged in consensual, romantic sexual activity with their adolescent peers. The legal provisions that exist do not appreciate the fact that young adolescents engage in such relationships, and in the eyes of the law, the boy — under the age of 18 years — is culpable of defilement.

Continued: https://citizentv.co.ke/blogs/opinion-timely-conversation-on-reviewing-age-of-consent-10369657/

The link between America’s rising maternal mortality rates and abortion

It's not a coincidence that maternal mortality rates began rising as abortion became harder to get

APRIL 19, 2021

Last week was Black Maternal Health Week, which reproductive justice activists started in 2018 to raise awareness of the grim fact that maternal mortality rates for Black women are up to three times higher than they are for white women. For the first time ever, the White House also joined in, with President Joe Biden issuing a proclamation noting that "America's maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the developed world" and calling on "all Americans to recognize the importance of addressing the crisis of Black maternal mortality and morbidity in this country."

The reasons for this crisis are multifaceted. As Vice President Kamala Harris explained in an interview with STAT, "systemic disparities and implicit bias" in health care are major contributors.

Continued: https://www.salon.com/2021/04/19/the-link-between-americas-rising-maternal-mortality-rates-and-abortion/

Ghana – Abortion claims 66 lives in 2020 — GHS

APR 15, 2021

Sixty-six women died in 2020 due to abortion related complications, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has revealed.

More than 54,000 cases of abortion, out of which 25,866 cases were classified as spontaneous abortions, were recorded in the country's heath facilities in 2020.

Continued: https://www.modernghana.com/news/1075023/abortion-claims-66-lives-in-2020.html