ZIMBABWE – A community dialogue calls for legal abortion to reduce women’s deaths and unsafe procedures

A community dialogue in Bindura on abortion was organised by a consortium of NGOs, including Right Here, Right Now, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Real Open Opportunities Trust Support and Katswe Sisterhood in the last week of November 2018. Zimbabwe has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world, estimated at 651 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births, in contrast to a declining worldwide trend. Members of the National Assembly from three … Continued

GHANA – Health ambassadors’ club initiated at the Cape Coast School for the Deaf and Blind

The club aims to equip school children with disabilities with information about their reproductive and sexual health. It was initiated by the Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Education Service with funding from UNFPA. Mrs Thywill Kpe, Central Regional Director of the Department of Gender, said more often than not, people with disabilities (PWDs) were not included in programmes aimed at improving adolescent reproductive health. She said PWDs formed 10% of the Ghanaian population, including … Continued

KENYA – Marie Stopes Kenya post-abortion care services banned, then permitted again

On 14 November 2018, Marie Stopes Kenya was ordered to suspend post-abortion care services by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board, who said they acted after complaints from members of the public that the law was being violated. In a statement in response, Marie Stopes Kenya said they remained open and would continue offering essential family planning, maternal health and general medical services. In the following weeks, Kenyans online began pleading with Health Cabinet … Continued

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – Women jurists call meeting of leaders to discuss legalising abortion in accordance with the Maputo Protocol and African Union meeting celebrates 15 years of the Protocol

On 16 August 2018, the Association of Women Lawyers of the Congo organised a day of discussions on the issue of the legalisation of abortion. The purpose of this meeting was to inform that, beyond the Congolese criminal law, there is the Maputo protocol that supports safe abortion. Parité et famille received Pélagie Ebeka, president of Afejuco, the association of women jurists of the Congo; André Kibambe, lawyer at the Kinshasa/Gombe bar; Luc Keza, doctor … Continued

TANZANIA – Tanzania arresting pregnant schoolgirls and gay men and putting other restrictions on freedom of speech and human rights

According to a UNFPA report, a sixth of Tanzania’s female population aged 15–19 have fallen pregnant. In Tanzania, girls who fall pregnant are forced to leave school. This situation got even worse in March 2018 when five schoolgirls, along with their parents, were arrested because the girls had fallen pregnant, although they were then released on bail. The boys involved ran away and were also being hunted down. These arrests follow an order issued by … Continued

BURUNDI – SOS Femmes en Détresse (SOS FED)

The network SOS Femmes en Détresse (SOS FED) organised interactive, educational workshops with women and young women on the risks of unsafe and clandestine abortions, the prevention of HIV and AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and unwanted pregnancy, whose aim is the reduction of maternal morbidity and mortality.  SOURCE: SOS Femmes en Détresse website 

POST-ABORTION CARE – Health Systems’ Capacity to Provide Post-Abortion Care: A Multi-Country Analysis Using Signal Functions

There are critical gaps in the provision of post-abortion care at all facilities that offer delivery services. In seven (70%) of ten countries, less than 10% of primary-level facilities could provide basic post-abortion care, and in eight (80%) of ten countries less than 40% of referral-level facilities could provide comprehensive post-abortion care. In no country could all referral facilities provide all the essential services that need to be included in basic post-abortion care.

GHANA – An audio with women’s testimonies on their abortion experiences (en français)

In Ghana, as in many other countries around the world, abortion is criminalised. In 2017, the Ghanaian health services registered over 53,000 abortion patients in public hospitals. Of these, 13,000 abortions were unsafe, according to the Ghana Health Service. A retired nurse who runs a pharmacy in Tamale said that up to three-fourths of students from different schools in the area often come to the shop for abortifacients, some of whom she observed were up … Continued

KENYA – How con-men are minting millions in risky abortion procedures

Carol, 20, almost became a statistic because of an orgasm. “I had to get rid of the pregnancy. I am still waiting to join college and my parents would have been mad had they known,” she said. A friend advised her to visit a private doctor, where she was charged a consultation fee of Sh3, 000. “I was then given options. Pills would have costed me Sh10, 000, while the charge for a surgical procedure … Continued

BOTSWANA – In Botswana it is easier to have a back street abortion than to be treated for flu at Princes Marina Hospital

For Pula 800 and a click of the mouse, Batswana women who wish to terminate unwanted pregnancies can have their wishes fulfilled in a few hours while influenza patients are still queuing to see a doctor, according to Sunday Standard investigations. The right of women to terminate a pregnancy in Botswana has been the subject of political, medical, social and legal debate, but 18 years later it remains a criminal offence unless it is permitted … Continued

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