Time to put a stop to needless deaths resulting from unsafe abortion

Lack of access to safe abortion due to known barriers remains unacceptably high in Kenya, among the highest in Africa. Part of these statistics, from 2012, represent the untold miseries of young girls, some who are bread winners living in poor conditions. The study also estimates that 157,762 women received care for complications of induced and spontaneous abortions in health facilities in the same year. Of these, 119,912 were experiencing complications of induced abortions. Meanwhile, the number of admissions for post-abortion care in public facilities increases while a good number of children remain orphaned because their mothers could not access safe abortion services. But we can only wait to see if the proposed handbook on the prevention and management of the big five direct causes of maternal morbidity and mortality in Kenya will be followed through. A High Court ruling in Malindi on 25 March 2022, affirmed that abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers for seeking or offering abortion services is illegal. Standard Media, by Wangari Ireri, 2 October 2023


Samson Mwita, a clinical officer, was in the middle of an abortion procedure at Mwera Medical Centre in Eastlands, Nairobi, when police officers burst into the operating room. “The patient was a minor aged 16 years, who had been defiled. Since she was in her second trimester, I had initiated an induction but the police officers interrupted me. They stopped the procedure and told me that what I was doing was against the law, but it was not.” Before he was arrested, the officers requested a large bribe from him and the girls’ mother. The doctor and the mother were charged with violating the Penal Code. But after a five year court battle, the charges were dismissed by a court in Nairobi under the Sexual Offences Act. The Nation, by Agatha Gichana, 9 October 2023.