Care and compassion over colonialism: Namibia must protect women and girls seeking abortions

By Marie-Evelyne Petrus Barry and Bience Gawanas
21 Oct 2021

Namibia’s parliament is debating reforms to the abortion law that would bring the country in line with international standards on sexual and reproductive health rights. Activists, medical doctors and public health experts are urging lawmakers to ensure that ‘every pregnancy in Namibia should be a wanted pregnancy’.

This past week, we have watched with great interest and hope as Namibia’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Social Development and Family Affairs held its first four days of public hearings on whether to reform its Abortion and Sterilisation Act of 1975.

Continued: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-10-21-care-and-compassion-over-colonialism-namibia-must-protect-women-and-girls-seeking-abortions/


Most democracies are expanding abortion access. The U.S. is retracting it

October 21, 2021
Martha F. Davis and Fiona de Londras

Fifty years ago, the United States was a global leader in recognizing women’s reproductive rights. Today, however, much of the rest of the world has caught up or surpassed the U.S. in extending abortion access.

The United States’ closest legal peers — Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia — have laws that are either in line with or more generous than those here. Like the U.S., other liberal democracies including the Netherlands and Iceland, also protect the right to abortion until or near the point of viability. This is what makes the Supreme Court’s threatened reversal of Roe v. Wade not only dangerous and life-threatening, but legally indefensible.

Continued: https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2021/10/21/supreme-court-abortion-dobbs-texas-martha-f-davis-fiona-de-londras


Benin parliament votes to legalise abortion

By Allegresse Sasse

COTONOU, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Benin's parliament has voted to legalise abortion in most circumstances, the health ministry said on Thursday, becoming one of only a handful of African countries to do so.

Abortion was previously legal only in cases of rape or incest, if the mother's life was at risk, or if the unborn child had a particularly serious medical condition.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/benin-parliament-votes-legalise-abortion-2021-10-21/


Backyard Abortions: Zimbabwe’s Silent Pandemic

By Lovejoy Mutongwiza
Oct 20, 2021

The
COVID-19 pandemic which brought about lockdown restrictions has further
restricted women and girls’ access to safe abortion services in traditionally
marginalized communities in Zimbabwe.

With COVID-19
restrictions, obtaining the necessary appointments and documents to access
health facilities has become a nightmare, especially for women in poor areas
and this has aided the need for most women and girls who fell pregnant,
unintentionally or otherwise, to Nicodemusly seek the termination of
pregnancies.

Continued: https://www.263chat.com/backyard-abortions-zimbabwes-silent-pandemic/


Uganda – Health Experts Spell Out Measures to Tackle Unsafe Abortions amidst COVID-19

Esther Makula
October 20, 2021

Covid-19 lockdowns have led to a spike in unplanned pregnancies, increasing the risk of unsafe abortions especially among teenage girls, health experts have said.

Data for the first half of 2021 by the District Health Information Software 2 (DHIS2) showed that 22% of all abortion cases reported during that period were among adolescents aged 10-19.

Continued: https://chimpreports.com/health-experts-spell-out-measures-to-tackle-unsafe-abortions-amidst-covid-19/


Rwanda – Supreme Court hears case on safe abortion

By Nasra Bishumba
Published : October 19, 2021

The Supreme Court on Monday, October 18 heard a case in which a local non-governmental organisation, Great Lakes Initiative for Human Rights and Development (GLIHD), sought to challenge two articles within the Penal Code regarding safe abortion.

Article 72 of the law determining the jurisdiction of courts stipulates that any person, company or association with legal personality can petition the Supreme Court to declare a law unconstitutional if they have any interest.

Continued: https://www.newtimes.co.rw/news/supreme-court-hears-case-safe-abortion


Experts lament high rate of unsafe abortions in Nigeria

October 19, 2021
by Chioma Obinna

With over half a million women in Nigeria suffer from complications from abortions annually; medical experts have lamented preventable deaths from abortions in Nigeria and other medium countries.

According to Guttmacher Institute 2020 report, an estimated 33 abortions occur annually per 1,000 women aged 15-49, with little variation across Eastern, Middle, Southern and Western Africa but the rate has remained largely unchanged over the past two decades.

Continued: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2021/10/experts-lament-high-rate-of-unsafe-abortions-in-nigeria/


Parliament invites public to abortion law hearing

15 October 2021 | Local News

Windhoek • jana@namibiansun.com

Activists and lawmakers, including Namibia's deputy health minister, have
welcomed the first public parliamentary hearings on legalising abortion since
the country's independence slated for next week.

“My position always has been for people to have open discussions on any topic,
whether its abortion or whatever. Because if people don’t discuss issues and
deliberate on them, how do we take an informed decision?” deputy minister of
health, Esther Muinjangue, said on Friday.

Continued: https://www.we.com.na/news/parliament-invites-public-to-abortion-law-hearing2021-10-15


Kenya – To reduce maternal deaths, birth control is key

By Spencer Anyango
October 9th 2021

About 800 women die from pregnancy or childbirth complications around the world everyday with nearly all the deaths occuring in developing countries, a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report indicated.

In Kenya, the maternal mortality rate currently stands at 362 out of every 100,000 live births. 

Continued: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/opinion/article/2001425737/to-reduce-maternal-deaths-birth-control-is-key


Ghana – Unwanted pregnancies increase unsafe abortions

Oct - 07 – 2021

It is estimated that abortion rate in the country is 44 per 1,000 women, the Director of Medical Affairs at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Ali Samba, has said.

Quoting data from the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organisation committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights, Dr Samba said the rate varied in different parts of the country.

Continued: https://www.graphic.com.gh/news/health/ghana-news-unwanted-pregnancies-increase-unsafe-abortions.html