Nigeria: Three Ideas to Bridge the SRH Access Gap for Women and Girls in Conflict Areas

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.

Continued: https://allafrica.com/stories/202105270074.html


Reproductive Rights Advocates Call for Biden to Curb Foreign Abortion Restrictions

5/5/2021
by MICHELLE ONELLO, Ms. Magazine

A coalition of over 140 reproductive rights and health care advocates is calling on President Biden to mitigate the harm caused by the over-implementation of U.S. foreign aid restrictions, especially the 50-year-old Helms Amendment, which has limited access to and information about abortion overseas.

In the April 29 letter, advocates highlighted
the direct harm these restrictions cause women, especially victims of
conflict-related sexual violence, and their violation of the U.S.’s human
rights obligations to ensure gender equality and non-discriminatory,
comprehensive health care. While these restrictions were enacted by Congress,
the coalition is advocating for the Biden administration to curb their impact
and support efforts currently underway to repeal them—both to fulfill his
stated policy of support for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)
and to provide the same bold leadership on abortion that he has shown in other
areas such as climate change, jobs and infrastructure.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2021/05/05/reproductive-rights-biden-foreign-abortion-restrictions-helms-hyde/


Uganda – Role of morality in legal and policy development process

WEDNESDAY MARCH 10 2021
Annah Kukundakwe

President Yoweri Museveni in his speech during the NRM Liberation Day on January 26 said people should leave their religious beliefs at home and not carry them to office.

I am not sure what motivated him to take this stance, but in my case, I am motivated by the fact that the morality whip that is mainly wielded by religious leaders and members of their congregation, has proven to be untenable.

Continued: https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/oped/commentary/role-of-morality-in-legal-and-policy-development-process-3318306


Legal abortion: a right, not a privilege

Last December 11, the Chamber of Deputies of Argentina approved the project of voluntary interruption of pregnancy. It is a great step forward to expand the debate on the legalization of abortion in Latin America.

Democracia Abierta
21 December 2020

Six days ago, the Argentine Chamber of Deputies approved the voluntary termination of the pregnancy project. This opens the debate, again, on the legalization of abortion in Latin America.

According to the Global Abortion Database of the World Health Organization, access to abortion in the region is restricted. Each country has its conditions and vetoes that, in the end, end up taking away women's possibility to decide about their bodies and future freely.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/democraciaabierta/aborto-legal-derecho-no-privilegio-en/


Ghana – PPAG builds capacities of journalists on Comprehensive Abortion Care

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

The Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), a non-governmental organization (NGO), has built the capacities of journalists on effective and objective reporting mechanisms to help curb incidences of unsafe abortion in society.

The two-day capacity development workshop, organized by the PPAG, in Tamale, brought together selected journalists from Northern and Upper West regions and was in line with the NGO’s planned efforts to help reduce unsafe abortions among the youth.

Continued: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/PPAG-builds-capacities-of-journalists-on-Comprehensive-Abortion-Care-1100752


Mistreated pregnant women deserve more than your outrage

A meaningful response to obstetric violence requires political will from policy-makers and accountability for government failures.

Khatondi Soita Wepukhulu
16 October 2020

Global leaders must act urgently to ensure that safety and dignity in pregnancy and childbirth become automatic, integral parts of the maternal health care experience of all women.

On 18 September 2020, a harrowing video appeared on Twitter. It showed a woman, Jackline Faustina, giving birth on the road outside Nairobi’s Pumwani maternity hospital. The woman, it was said and later confirmed by city authorities, had been denied entry into the hospital. It was the second day of a ‘go-slow’ industrial action by hospital staff.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/mistreated-pregnant-women-deserve-more-your-outrage/


Humanists International joins 354 NGOs calling for an end to barriers to abortion access

DATE / 7 OCTOBER 2020

On 28 September, in honour of International Safe Abortion Day, Humanists International co-sponsored a joint statement at the UN on ongoing threats to sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) in light of COVID-19.

The statement was delivered during the General Debate of the 45th session of the Human Rights Council and was supported and signed by a total of 354 organizations and 643 individuals.

States are ignoring their duties to ensure abortion access during COVID-19

Continued: https://humanists.international/2020/10/humanists-international-joins-354-ngos-calling-for-an-end-to-barriers-to-abortion-access/


Zimbabwe – Safe abortion is health care

Edinah Masiyiwa, Feature
06 Oct 2020

IT is time we pass effective laws and policies that promote women’s choices when it comes to keeping or terminating a pregnancy especially now when it is so difficult for many women and girls to access Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in the Covid-19 era. We also cannot afford to keep seeing policy agreements passed that are never fulfilled.

The truth is maternal mortality remains high across the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) region, despite political commitment to reduce it. Fourteen countries in Sadc out of 16 countries remain below the target of 70 deaths per 100 000 women. It appears leaders are quick to sign regional and international declarations and agreements such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the International Conference on Population in Development without putting in place country strategies for ensuring implementation.

Continued: https://www.chronicle.co.zw/safe-abortion-is-health-care/


International Safe Abortion Day – Zambia DJ Shows Support

30 September 2020

Community Radio (Youth DJ Nchimunya Chadukwa whilst spinning his records) interviewed Dr. Whyson Munga, an OB-GYN at the Women and Newborn Hospital at Lusaka's University Teaching Hospital, to learn more about the sexual reproductive rights of adolescents and to better understand the issue of current statistics on early pregnancies in young people, and the impact of unsafe abortion on and why access to safe abortion services is a fundamental human right of all women/girls in Zambia.

The idea of the radio programme stemmed from the advocacy training by FIGO in June. Local youth community-based organisations and doctors agreed to jointly host a radio programme with the latter playing the role of interviewee and the former as DJ/interviewers. It was felt that to reach out to the young audience and make it more relatable, it would be interesting for young people themselves to run the show.

Continued: https://www.figo.org/news/international-safe-abortion-day-zambia-dj-shows-support


That radical idea: a woman’s body belongs to her

Ground reality reveals deep rooted patriarchy that has taken hold of both formal state institutions and informal ones

Benazir Jatoi
September 11, 2020

One would think it is simple — one’s body
belongs to oneself. The reality is that a woman’s body does not belong entirely
to her. It belongs to the state, family, religious institutions and ideology.
Globally, controlling a woman’s body is one of the tools used to maintain the
deeply entrenched patriarchal status quo. For centuries, this is how it has
been regardless of the advancement societies make. That simple idea then that a
woman’s body belongs to her is in fact really, even in this day and age, a
radical one.

Continued:  https://tribune.com.pk/story/2263585/that-radical-idea-a-womans-body-belongs-to-her