Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

July-03-07

10 African Leaders Call for Safe, Legal Abortion

Political leaders of 10 African countries this week called for the legalization of safe abortion procedures in an effort to curb maternal mortality among African women. "It is sad to learn that 68,000 women die of unsafe abortion each year and out of these, 30,000 are in Africa," said Kenyan Vice President Moody Awori at a three-day conference addressing human rights and maternal mortality. He and representatives from Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia urged African leaders to make a "political commitment" to end unsafe abortion in their countries.

Some countries have begun to recognize the importance of women's reproductive health to fighting poverty. In Kenya, as many as 15,000 girls drop out of secondary school annually due to unplanned pregnancies. Awori said that, without access to safe termination, "[girls'] personal development is usually curtailed and the nation loses their development potential."

The commitment at the conference to make abortion safe and accessible may reflect an emerging trend across the continent. 21 African countries have ratified a protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa authorizing abortion in cases of rape, incest and maternal health, and two others have signed but not yet ratified it. In addition, policymakers in Mozambique--which has one of the highest maternal death rates in the world--announced in early June that they are considering removing the country's ban on abortion. And on Tuesday, the Kenya Human Rights Commission and the Reproductive Health and Rights Alliance held a mock tribunal on illegal abortions to "publicize the negative consequences of the criminalization of abortion in Kenya," calling the absence of safe abortions in the country a violation of a woman's human rights.

Media Resources: AllAfrica 6/27/07; Feminist Majority Foundation 6/11/07; Kaiser Family Foundation 6/28/07


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

9/19/2014 New White House Campaign Seeks to Engage Men and Empower Campus Activists in Fight to End Sexual Assault - President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden today announced the launch of It's On Us, a multi-platform media campaign and national action plan targeted at ending campus sexual assault. . . .
 
9/19/2014 Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership Still Needs Improvements in Human and Workers Rights - Legislators and activists are still concerned about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed regional free trade agreement that addresses a broad range of issues and is currently being negotiated between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations. . . .
 
9/18/2014 UN Ambassador Says the World Needs a "Wake-Up Call" on Ebola Crisis - Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the United Nations, says the international community needs a "wake-up call" in the case of the current Ebola outbreak crisis. "This should be a wake-up call for the international community," Power said. . . .