BY PURITY NTHIANA
Unsafe abortions continue to contribute to high maternal deaths in Kenya resulting in many deaths especially among adolescents.
This is why we should have clear Standards & Guidelines about the procedure so that it can be carried out by a professional and qualified personnel.
Restrictive laws, poor availability of services, stigma and objection of health care providers among the factors contribute to abortion related deaths. We should not limit the choices of our women and girls thus forcing them to resort to unsafe back alley abortions through quacks.
Furthermore, healthcare providers should provide lifesaving medical care to any woman who suffers unsafe related complications regardless of legal grounds.
Essential health care service and sexual and reproductive health service should be available to each and every person who needs it according to Article 43(1)(a) of the Kenyan Constitution.
We can however prevent unwanted pregnancies which leads to unsafe abortion, through comprehensive sexuality education and effective contraception. Emergency post abortion care and treatment should be available to all women according to Article 43 (2) of the constitution, which provides that a person shall not be denied emergency medical treatment.
The government should also develop and implement a comprehensive national strategy for promoting women’s right to health. With the Global Gag Rule now rescinded, women will be able to access safe abortion services and reproductive health services without being judged.
Women and girls have undergone traumatic events and it’s high time they make healthy decisions about their sexuality.
Ms Nthiana is a Youth Advocate at NAYA Kenya