- Women who procure abortion in Kenya face stigmatization which affects both their physical and mental health.
- Religious leaders condemn abortion while African elders support the same when recommended by medics.
- .Access to the highest attainable standard of health, including sexual and reproductive health, is a core human right
Cultural and religious beliefs in the country have contributed towards creating a stigma so strong that even women who procure safe abortions believe they have committed a sin by doing so.
As the world marks international safe abortion day, Ghetto radio managed to meet up with a 29 year old woman who developed ectopic pregnancy, She was advised while in hospital to procure an abortion since her life was in danger ,
After leaving the medical facility she faced stigma which included abuse from her in-laws, which led to her leaving her matrimonial home
” Nina miaka Ishirini na Tisa, nilipata ball na mtoi hakuwa kwa uterus, nilienda hosi na dock alianishauri nitoe mimba kuokoa maisha yangu. Baada ya kutoa hiyo mimba my in laws na parents walianza kunichukia wakasema Mimi siwezi shika mimba ni kutoa hata nikaitwa Malaya. I had to leave nianze tu life,” said Halima which is not her real name.
Listening to Halima’s case, was I sort to find out from religious leaders and community elders if they understood that safe abortion is not illegal in Kenya
” Naitwa Asamed Hidris na dini ya kislamu haikubali abortion ni kitu amabacho dini inekataza sababu ni kuuwa nafsi na katika dini tumekatazwa kuuwa nafsi pasipo na haki,” said Idris.
Unlike religious leaders, our elders in the society accepts safe abortion only when a medical expert recommends.
” Naitwa Daniel Owino na kwa kimila yetu hatubali abortion sababu ina madhara yake kama vile kukosa kuzaa , ukiwa na bibi yako bila kujua uliavia mimba. Lakini daktari akishauri sisi tunakubali kuona uhai wa mama,” said Owino .
According to world health organization around 73 million induced abortion take place worldwide each year of which 61 percent of all unintended pregnancies and 29 percent pregnancies end in induced abortion.
Access to the highest attainable standard of health, including sexual and reproductive health, is a core human right. The ability to decide if and when to have children, and access to safe, timely, affordable, respectful and person-centred abortion care, including information and post-abortion care, helps to safeguard the health and well-being of women, girls, their families and their communities.
By Jeremick Joe