June 30, 2021

Summary

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 266 deaths per 100,000 unsafe abortions occur in Kenya each year.

More by Winnie Kabintie

Deaths from Unsafe Abortions on the Rise in Kenya

Deaths from Unsafe Abortions on the Rise in Kenya

Deaths resulting from Unsafe abortions, especially among minors, continue to be on the rise in the country.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 266 deaths per 100,000 unsafe abortions occur in Kenya each year.

Abortion is illegal in Kenya, which has pushed scores of POOR women and girls who get unintended pregnancies to backstreet abortions. As the law stipulates; “abortion is illegal except where in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is a need for emergency treatment or the life or health of the mother is in danger”.

The Haves and Haves Not

Sadly, as many poor girls and women die or are left with life-threatening conditions from botched abortions, the rich and middle-class Kenyan women have access to safe and “affordable” abortion in some of the best medical facilities in the country, where they get quality post-abortion care as well, all they need is to pay for it and the procedure is done behind the scenes.

According to a 2018 report by MarieStoppes Kenya, seven women die every day due to complications associated with backstreet abortions.

“How to Procure Abortion” Popular on Google Search

It was of passing interest when the Google Zeitgeist 2012 Report ranked abortion as top on the list of the subjects Kenyans search for in the ‘How To’ category

The report indicates that there are about 310,000 abortions every year in Kenya with unsafe abortions contributing to 35 percent of all maternal deaths in Kenya, which translates to 2,450 deaths out of the 7,000 that occur annually during, or as a result of pregnancy or childbirth.

Complications  Associated  with Abortion

There are many dangers associated with abortions including heavy or persistent bleeding, infection or sepsis, damage to the cervix, scarring of the uterine lining, perforation of the uterus, and death in the most unfortunate cases.

Kenya’s “unclear” law on abortion continues to be a source of conflict in the medical space as fars as providing post-abortion care is concerned.

In 2018, The Centre for Reproductive Rights (CRR) sued state agencies for outlawing Marie Stopes Kenya from offering any abortion and post-abortion care services in the country, saying “Post-abortion care is essential emergency care, care to which every woman is entitled”.

In the suit filed at the high court, CRR was challenging a decision by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB) to ban Marie Stopes from providing “any “kind of abortion saying it’s a violation of the constitution.

According to The Centre for Reproductive Rights, the Kenyan Constitution makes a provision for an abortion; “when the health or the life of the woman is in danger or in cases of emergency” and therefore the decision to ban the services is a violation of human rights.

“In Kenya, abortion is allowed if in the opinion of a medical provider a woman’s life or health is at risk, or in emergency situations. Post-abortion care is essential emergency care, care to which every woman is entitled,” CRR said in a statement.

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