Standing strong: youth health workers from Benin share lessons from sexual and reproductive health and rights workshop

28 April 2022
FIGO Advocating for Safe Abortion Project

From 9–11 March 2022, in Cotonou, Benin, FIGO’s Advocating for Safe Abortion Project worked with the National College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Benin (CNGOB) to organise a capacity building workshop for their counterparts visiting from Mali alongside the Youth Health Workers for Safe Abortion (YHW4SA) – a Beninese network of young pro-choice health professionals set-up in 2021 by CNGOB.  

The group attending the workshop was made up of 15 members of the YHW4SA network and five members of the Malian Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (SOMAGO).  

The aim was to share knowledge and tools on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and on best practice to discuss abortion, in order to enable participants to address abortion stigma and strengthen access to safe abortion in their workplaces and wider communities.  

Continued: https://www.figo.org/news/youth-health-workers-benin-share-lessons-srhr-workshop


Tanzania: Govt Advised to Strengthen Legal Measures to Control Sexual Abuses

25 APRIL 2022
Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

CALL has been made to improve laws to control sexual abuses which contribute to unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions among young girls.

A health expert and Country Director of Marie Stopes Tanzania (MST) Vadacanthara Chandrashekar, hinted this in Dar es Salaam during Iftar organized by Marie Stopes Tanzania to the Muslim community.

Continued: https://allafrica.com/stories/202204250093.html


The Elephant in the Womb: Unintended Pregnancies

22 APRIL 2022
Population Matters

This year’s State of the World Population (SWOP) report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) focuses on the worrying issue of unintended pregnancies. Still approximately half of all pregnancies today are unplanned and the number of affected women is increasing. Tackling this crisis is key to achieving a better future and should be an utmost priority. 

RUNNING TO SLIDE BACKWARDS?
Since 2019, the annual unintended pregnancy rate fell from 79 to 64 unintended pregnancies for every 1,000 women of child-bearing age (15 to 49 years) – in other words, roughly 6% of the world’s women experience an unintended pregnancy each year, down from 8% in 2019. However, the report points out that due to population growth, the absolute number of affected women has increased by as much as 13% during this time period. This inconvenient truth also applies to the number of girls and women affected by other injustices, such as child marriage and unmet contraceptive needs, alongside many other development indicators, as shown in Population Matters’ 2019 report on population and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Continued: https://populationmatters.org/news/2022/04/elephant-womb-unintended-pregnancies


I had four abortions, Óyá, arrest me! The diary of an almost-aborted pro-choice feminist

by Dasola Tewogbade
Apr 22, 2022

My name is Dasola aka Sisí Afrika and I'm a pro-choice advocate in my country. Abortion is considered a felony in Nigeria and last month, I released a book detailing my experiences while trying to have access to abortion – technically making me a criminal – because something as very important as abortion is criminalized. There's even no provision for women who got pregnant through rape.

Introduction to the book
Are you curious about anything related to abortion? Are you sexually active? Do you have a sense of justice? Do you hate being told what you can and cannot do with your body? Then this book is for you.

First of all, let me start this ride (where I don’t know how it’ll end, but I’m excited all the same) by categorically stating that this is NOT fiction… I want to write about the everyday happenings that go on around us and let everyone see that all these ideas every activist stands up for are not, at all, disconnected from our realities. These ideas are not abstract, they’re not some far-away thoughts that happen in never-never lands. These things happen to us at every breathing second of our lives. It doesn’t matter if you’re, not at all, interested in politics, politics is very much interested in you. It shapes your life, it affects it in many ways, much more than you can ever imagine.

Introduction continued at FigureFeminists.com  
(From International Campaign for Safe Abortion newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/22-april-2022?e=372dd34034)

FULL TEXT
of the book at https://figurefeminists.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/The-diary-of-an-almost-aborted-pro-choice-feminist.pdf  


Kenya – Post-abortion care is just as important as procedure itself- OBGYN

By Gardy Chacha
April 21st 2022

Prof MOSES OBIMBO explains the danger behind unsafe abortions and why
many women opt to take this route.

Why did you go into Obstetrics and Gynaecology?

Women have a great impact on the health and well-being of humanity. It is women
who carry pregnancies. Every human being alive today is here through a woman.
My interest has always been to make a woman’s health a priority because she not
only has a direct impact on us now but also has an effect on the progeny of the
next generation.

Continued: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/thenairobian/health/2001443702/a-z-of-abortion-through-the-eyes-of-a-doctor


Malawi – 669 unsafe abortions out of 4123 teenage pregnancies raise alarm in Phalombe

Apr 19, 2022 
Chikondi Magalasi

Phalombe North East Parliamentarian Dennis Namachekecha has bemoaned an increase in unsafe abortions among teenage girls in the district as health office’s report indicate that 669 unsafe abortions were conducted in 2021 alone.

The district’s Youth Friendly Health Services (YFHS) office report indicate that in 2021 there were 4123 teenage pregnancies that were registered out of this 669 unsafely aborted their pregnancies.

Continued: https://malawi24.com/2022/04/19/669-unsafe-abortions-out-of-4123-teenage-pregnancies-raise-alarm-in-phalombe/


Chipata Teens Abusing Cassava Leaves For Abortion

April 16, 2022
By Samuel Khwawe

Some Chipata residents have bemoaned persistent use of Cassava leaves, locally known as Katapa, to terminate pregnancies.

Abigail Sambo of an area called Feni reveals to Diamond News that most young people continue to indulge in unprotected sex and when girls fall pregnant, they opt to abort using Cassava leaves that are inserted in the cervix, a practice that she says has led to devastating consequences like death that she has witnessed so far.

Sambo says the vice is often perpetuated by adults that perform the unsafe methods on girls and young women and the vicious cycle has persisted in poor communities where many downplay awareness messages on unsafe abortion.

She made the comments during a sensitization meeting on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and Social Accountability held by the Youth Development Foundation (YDF).- Diamond TV

Source: https://zambianobserver.com/chipata-teens-abusing-cassava-leaves-for-abortion/


Hope for access to abortion in Kenya

A landmark court case could help activists seeking to revise Kenya's reproductive health policy.

Munyaradzi Makoni

https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00693-6
WORLD REPORT| VOLUME 399, ISSUE 10334, P1456, APRIL 16, 2022.

The roll-out of a policy to promote and improve the reproductive health of
Kenyans has been suspended following protests from activists calling for
protection for patients who seek abortion services and the medical personnel
who provide them. On April 6, the Ministry of Health said that a new draft of
Kenya's Reproductive Health Policy 2022–32, which did not make any provision
for abortion, will be produced within 45 days, with civil society given an
opportunity to propose changes.

The decision follows a ruling on March 25 by Reuben Nyakundi, a High Court
judge in Malindi, who declared abortion-related arrests and prosecution
illegal, concluding that abortion care is a fundamental right under the
Constitution of Kenya, adding that protecting access to abortion affects vital
constitutional values, including dignity, autonomy, equality, and bodily
integrity. Although the Constitution allows it, Kenya's 1963 Penal Code still
criminalises all abortion care.

Continued: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(22)00693-6/fulltext?dgcid=raven_jbs_etoc_email


The abortion crisis in Kenyan universities

Thursday, April 14, 2022

It usually begins with a chilling call, “Babe, we need to talk”. This is a clear signal that things are thick. After a period of careless fun with a ‘sponsor’, she misses her periods, then reality sets in.

Barely out of her teens and in the first or second year of college, she finds herself in an awkward situation: Should she procure an abortion or live with the stigma? Young, jobless and desperate, many university students prefer terminating the pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/news/the-abortion-crisis-in-kenyan-universities-3781820


South Africa – Fake abortion providers are online too. Here’s how to spot them

By Mohale Moloi and Yolanda Mdzeke
April 13, 2022
Video: 3:22 minutes

Abortion has been legal in South Africa for
more than 25 years. Yet illegal providers continue to put people’s lives at
risk. Dubious providers can exploit platforms like Google Search and Facebook
to advertise their services. Tshinondiwa Ramaite from the reproductive health
organisation, Ipas, explains how to spot ads from a bogus clinic.

Continued: https://bhekisisa.org/multimedia/2022-04-13-fake-abortion-providers-are-online-too-heres-how-to-spot-them/