Abortion care: Lessons for Kenya from other African countries

September 24, 2022

Reproductive justice advocates say if Kenya adopts best practices on access to abortion, more lives of women and girls would be saved.

A 2010 In Harm’s Way: The Impact of Kenya’s Restrictive Abortion Law report by Centre for Reproductive Rights estimated that more than 2,600 women die in Kenya, annually, from complications of unsafe abortion.

The advocates say Kenya can learn from African countries that have adopted progressive laws on abortion.

“South Africa has had the Termination of Pregnancy Act from 1996 but due to the lack of holistic implementation of the Act, there continues to be stigma from the community,” says Ipas Africa Alliance, policy and advocacy manager Suzanne Majani.

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), she says, has also adopted a holistic strategy.

Abortion law

It ratified the Maputo Protocol and, thereafter, developed standards and guidelines to reduce maternal mortality, she says.

It also trained judges, law enforcement officers and healthcare providers on the same.

“Sierra Leone is also seeing a wave of change with the President having dialogues on how best to reform the abortion law for the country,” she noted.

Reproductive Health Network Kenya executive director Nelly Munyasia, says Rwanda and Ethiopia are also leading from the front in promoting women’s reproductive rights.

“In October 2018, the Rwandan government removed the requirement of court approval and the second doctor’s permission for a legal abortion. This means women can access abortion services in accredited facilities,” she says

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