Reuters: Charity denies promoting teen abortions after Kenya bans radio ad

19 September, 2018

"Unsafe abortions are responsible for the deaths of so many women in Kenya. All we are doing is providing public health messaging informing women of their rights regarding abortion in Kenya, and where they can access safe abortion services."

Reuters: Charity denies promoting teen abortions after Kenya bans radio ad

by Nita Bhalla | @nitabhalla | Thomson Reuters Foundation

Monday, 17 September 2018 15:07 GMT

Extracts below. Full text here: http://news.trust.org/item/20180917150734-0g92c/

NAIROBI, Sept 17 (Thomson Reuters Foundation)

... Marie Stopes Kenya said it was running a radio, social media and newspaper campaign on the dangers of unsafe abortions, but not targeting teenagers, after the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) announced the ban last week.

"Unsafe abortions are responsible for the deaths of so many women in Kenya. All we are doing is providing public health messaging informing women of their rights regarding abortion in Kenya, and where they can access safe abortion services."

Almost half a million abortions were conducted in Kenya in 2012 - mostly in backstreet clinics - resulting in one in four women and girls having complications such as high fever, sepsis, shock and organ failure, said a ministry of health report.

An estimated 266 women die per 100,000 unsafe abortions in Kenya - higher than rates estimated in other east African nations, it added...

Since 2010, the ministry of health has withdrawn essential guidelines on conducting safe abortions and banned health workers from training on abortion - which helped safe-guard against backstreet practitioners.

"There are many girls and women who are dying due to botched abortions as they don't know what to do and where to go if they have an unwanted pregnancy," said Evelyne Opondo, Africa director of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

"It's ridiculous that there is a government body saying that they should not be getting the information they need in order to save their lives."

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Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 18,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on five global forums in three languages. He also currently chairs the Dgroups Foundation (www.dgroups.info), which supports 800 communities of practice on international development, health and social justice. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org