GHANA: Global day of access to legal abortion

Save Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, on Monday launched this year’s global day of action for access to safe and legal abortion, with a call on government to fully legalize abortion. Organized by Safe Abortion Action Fund, Global Media Foundation and Save Ghana, the launch was on the theme: “Abort the stigma, bust the myths and discrimination.” It also formed part of global campaign activities undertaken by the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion.

Ms Racheal Kanwmaa, Reproductive Health Officer, said that “there was an unmet need for contraceptives and family planning services, and [women were dying] due to unsafe abortion, [as well as during] labour, delivery or other causes, and this was a very disturbing trend for a country that had the health of its women and young girls at heart.” She said abortion was legal in Ghana, under such conditions as rape, defilement, incest, health of mother and child, yet there existed some barriers to access, such as lack of access to information, blocking access to medication, requiring legal reporting or evidence of coerced sex, requiring unnecessary approval test, unregistered conscientious stigma, harassment, coercion and extortion.

Ms Kanwmaa said Save Ghana was therefore proposing three interventions at reducing maternal mortality and mordibity such as: making abortion on demand within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, government should include family planning services in the health insurance policy to make it more accessible to all women of reproductive age, and combating the stigma associated with the use of family planning services and abortion. Read more here.