Breaking the Silence: Abortion Rights in Kenya – BBC Africa Eye documentary

BBC News Africa
Nov 26, 2023
Film:  45 minutes

Across the world, debates are raging about access to safe abortion. Complications from unsafe, backstreet procedures are a leading cause of maternal death in developing countries. In Kenya, where almost two-thirds of pregnancies are unintended, unregulated terminations are estimated to claim the lives of over 2,000 women every year.

BBC Africa Eye reporter Linda Ngari investigates a hidden crisis that has led to an estimated seven Kenyan women dying from unsafe abortions every day, with many more facing life-altering complications.


Kenya – ‘We Lost Our Daughters To Unsafe Abortion’

Nov 25, 2023
The Nation

Deep in Kharanda village, a few kilometres from Kakamega town, Catherine Nyongesa, 55, strolls along a fence enclosing her modest homestead.

On the left side of her mud-walled house, she points to an unmarked grave of her late daughter, Naomi. She was her third-born child who died at the age of 14.


Stakeholders move to lift ban on safe abortion guidelines in Lagos

By Josephine Agbonkhese
Nov 21, 2023

Civil society leaders, stakeholders and medical experts have embarked on a move to develop a roadmap for an advocacy campaign geared towards lifting the suspension on guidelines for safe termination of pregnancy in Lagos State.

This was the crux of a two-day meeting organised in Lagos by the Women Advocates Research & Documentation Centre, WARDC, with support from AmplifyChange, as part of its ongoing Project Enhance initiative aimed at ‘Enhancing Women’s Voices to Demand Accountability on Safe Abortion and Preventable Maternal Deaths in Lagos’.


Georgia Supreme Court Allows Six-Week Abortion Ban to Remain in Effect as Legal Challenge Continues

October 24, 2023
Case: SisterSong v. State of Georgia / Affiliate: ACLU of Georgia

ATLANTA — The Georgia Supreme Court issued a ruling today that allows H.B. 481, a ban on abortion after approximately six weeks of pregnancy, to remain in effect. The court’s majority opinion disregards long-standing precedent that a law violating either the state or federal Constitution at the time of its enactment is void from the start under the Georgia Constitution. Georgia’s ban was blatantly unconstitutional when enacted in 2019 against the backdrop of Roe v. Wade and almost five decades of federal precedent, and therefore unenforceable, as the trial court found. But today’s ruling reversing the lower court’s decision concludes that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe last year effectively erased that history.


With Milei leading Argentina’s presidential race, abortion is on the line

Libertarian candidate and frontrunner Javier Milei has pledged to hold a referendum to repeal abortion access if elected.

By Natalie Alcoba
20 Oct 2023

Buenos Aires, Argentina – In Argentina, it can be hard to focus on anything but economics during an election year. With an annual inflation rate that has eclipsed 138 percent and a currency that has plunged in value, the dire financial outlook has once again dominated this year’s presidential campaign.

But as voters head to the polls on October 22, social issues are increasingly taking centre stage, in large part due to the popularity of far-right libertarian candidate Javier Milei.


USA – Abortion bans complicate medical training, risk worsening OB/GYN shortages

Thousands of doctors-in-training have lost access to abortion training. Some are fleeing to other states.

By Sara Hutchinson, Washington Post
October 13, 2023

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The journey to Boston was more than 1,500 miles. The plane ticket cost about $500. The hotel: another $400. Amrita Bhagia felt a little guilty about going, knowing that not everyone could afford this trip. But it was important; she was headed there to learn.

So Bhagia, a second-year medical student from Sioux Falls, S.D., caught that flight to Boston to attend a weekend workshop hosted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. There, she joined medical students from around the country for a summit on abortion care. She learned about medication abortion, practiced the technique of vacuum aspiration using papayas as a stand-in for a uterus, and sat in on a workshop about physicians’ rights.


6 Stories Show the Human Toll of Poland’s Strict Abortion Laws

By Anna Pamula | Photographs by Kasia Strek for TIME
OCTOBER 13, 2023

Krzysztof Sowinski has cried every day since his wife Marta, who was five months pregnant, died of sepsis in 2022; he believes doctors put Marta’s life in danger by not giving them the option to terminate the pregnancy while the fetus’ heart was still beating. Janusz Kucharski also lost his partner Justyna to sepsis in the fifth month of a pregnancy. She left behind two boys.

It is likely, reproductive-rights advocates say, that these women would be alive if not for Poland's increasingly restrictive abortion laws. Abortion has been illegal in the country since 1993, but a 2020 ruling by Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal, which went into effect the next year, removed one of the exceptions to the law—fetal abnormalities—and imposed a near-total ban on abortion. Now women can terminate a pregnancy only if the women’s life or health is at risk (including mental health risks with a psychiatric diagnosis) or if there is reasonable suspicion that the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.


Making abortion safer in Thailand

6 OCT 2023

Safe abortion is a basic healthcare service and an important enabling factor for Thailand to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Under Target 3.1 of Goal 3 (ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages), a two-thirds reduction in maternal mortality -- in which unsafe abortion is a leading cause -- is called for by 2030. And this is directly under the mandate of the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) to deliver.

While Thailand has legalised abortions up to the 20th week of pregnancy in 2021, women still face an information deficit, social stigma, and lack of access to safe abortion services. In recognition of the International Safe Abortion Day last week, I would like to speak out as a woman and a member of parliament.


USA – Judge James Ho’s Connections to the Anti-Abortion Movement

An extreme right-wing judge and former clerk for Clarence Thomas, James Ho has close ties to anti-abortion and dark money groups.


In August, three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (which covers Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi) ruled that mifepristone—the most widely used abortifacient, and more commonly known as the abortion pill—could no longer be provided by mail. They imposed a new requirement that the medicine only be administered in the presence of a physician. They also limited the use of this drug to the first seven weeks of pregnancy, even though it is safe to use at least throughout the first 10 weeks.

The ruling did overturn a lower federal court edict from Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk—a Trump-appointed judge who failed to disclose to the U.S. Senate and the American people his recent anti-abortion writings—to revoke the FDA’s 23-year old approval of mifepristone as a safe drug for Americans seeking abortions.


Kenya – Time to put a stop to needless deaths resulting from unsafe abortion

By Wangari Ireri
Oct 2, 2023

Lack of access to safe abortion due to known barriers remains unacceptably high. Unsafe abortion is a public health concern and according to 2013 findings of the 'Magnitude and incidences of unsafe abortion' study conducted by the Ministry of Health, unsafe abortion in the country is among the highest in Africa.

Maternal mortality is high at about 6,000 deaths per year, 17 per cent of them from complications of unsafe abortion. The study, conducted by the African Population and Health Research Centre in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Ipas, Guttmacher Institute and other partners estimated that 464,690 induced abortions were conducted in Kenya in 2012, corresponding to an induced abortion rate of 48 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age (15-49 years), and an induced abortion ratio of 30 abortions per 100 births.