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.
16 May 2021
The issue of abortion has gained particular momentum in the past few months with two interesting developments in very different parts of the world- the passage of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) (Amendment) Bill 2020 in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) in India and the recent passage of the Argentinian abortion bill, that legalises abortions up to the 14th week of pregnancy. While the MTP (Amendment) Bill 2020 extends the existing time period within which abortion can be conducted in India to 24 weeks in some cases, the Argentinian bill replaces the prior abortion law based on the 'exception model', where three exceptions were allowed to an otherwise blanket criminal prohibition- when a pregnancy endangers the life or health of a woman, girl, or pregnant person, or when it results from rape. After the Argentinian Senate narrowly rejected a bill to decriminalize abortion in 2018, the lower house of Congress finally passed the bill this January.
May 1, 2021
Recently, Austine Ohenhen, a man who fled his home in
Benin, Edo State, on hearing that his wife, Rita, had given birth to a set of
quadruplets blamed the current economic situation in the country for his
Austin and his wife, Rita already had five children before the arrival of the
quadruplets. The former engineer now turned farmer told the media that he did
not have the money to take up the huge additional responsibilities the birth of
the new babies would put on him.
15 March 2021
Just last year when over half of humanity was confined to their homes due to COVID-19 preventive measures, Karex, a Malaysian contraceptives manufacturer predicted a global condom shortage as the pandemic shuttered factories and disrupted supply chains.
This came as Malaysia, one of the world’s top rubber producers and a major source of condoms, imposed a nationwide lockdown – known locally as the Movement Control Order (MCO). The MCO was implemented sometime in mid-March 2020 for several months.
March 15, 2021
Sara E Casey
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), restrictive abortion laws, limited medical resources, and high costs – all heightened by two decades of conflict – have led to barriers in access to safe abortion.
Despite the legal restrictions, abortion is common in the DRC although national data are lacking. One study in Kinshasa estimated that 61% of pregnancies in 2016 were unintended, and there was a rate of 56 abortions per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 49. An estimated 88% of abortions in Middle Africa are unsafe.
February 10, 2021
by Cassie Ransom
The Organization for World Peace
On the 28th of January, President Biden released a memorandum intended to reverse the harm to women’s reproductive healthcare inflicted by the Trump administration. Among other things, the memorandum ordered the withdrawal of the U.S’s signature and sponsorship of the Geneva Consensus Declaration, a controversial international anti-abortion declaration.
The declaration was unveiled in October of 2020 by the then-Director of the U.S Central Intelligence Agency Mike Pompeo. It claims to “improve and secure access to health and development gains for women, including sexual and reproductive health, which must always promote optimal health, the highest attainable standard of health” as well as protect the health of the family and affirm women’s fundamental human rights. The central tenet of the document, however, is the assertion that “the child… needs special safeguards and care… before as well as after birth” and “there is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation on the part of States to finance or facilitate abortion.”
By Stanley Akpunonu
17 December 2020
Scientists have urged the federal, state, and local governments to work with drug sellers associations to improve the quality of abortion medication services in the country, given their critical role in providing drugs to prevent severe morbidity and mortality caused by unsafe abortion procedures.
The scientists who made known to the media the findings of their study on Women’s Experience with Self-Managed Misoprostol Abortions in Lagos State said governments must take steps to train drug sellers to share key information on the safe and effective use of the World Health Organisation recommended abortion medication, Misoprostol, to protect women from dying from unwanted pregnancy and related conditions.
1 October 2020
Jameen Kaur, Advocating for Safe Abortion Project, FIGO
28 September 2020: on the 100th anniversary of the first law to legalise access to abortion, FIGO stands in solidarity with the international safe abortion campaign calls to strengthen access to telemedicine/self-managed abortion.
In recent months Alexandra Kollontai’s name has been shared within the reproductive rights community. It was Kollontai’s visionary leadership that led to Russia being the first country in the world to legalise abortion in 1920.
Ogungbile Emmanuel Oludotun, University of Ibadan
September 14, 2020
On 11th September 2020, Daily Times, a foremost Nigerian Newspaper reported that the former governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko, lost his daughter, Sadiya, who reportedly died during child-birth. Sadiya died at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, on Thursday. It was sad that the 23-year-old lady died in event of complications arising from childbirth. So I wondered even the elite also suffers from maternal mortality? This is 2020 and we are still talking about the high rate of maternal mortality in Nigeria which breeds death of millions of people who should not have died, most especially the first-timers.
Specifically today, we still talk of maternal mortality as a major risk for women of childbearing age in Nigeria. The country’s maternal mortality ratio has always stayed elevated despite efforts to curb maternal deaths.
By Afedzi Abdullah
Despite Ghana having relatively liberal laws on abortion, the procedure continues to be highly stigmatised, and as a result, many abortions are done illegally.
Consequently, the country is lacking accurate data on abortion incidence and unintended pregnancies which are very essential to planning reproductive health services.