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

April-07-03

African Leaders Speak Out Against Unsafe Abortion

The first-ever regional meeting in Africa to address unsafe abortion and access to abortion-related care was held last month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Entitled “Action to Reduce Maternal Mortality in Africa,” the conference brought together an array of people that are working to stop the number of deaths from unsafe abortion including ministers of health, legislators, heads of professional organizations representing gynecologists and lawyers, representatives from regional and national health research and policy institutions, and representatives from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), according to Ipas.

About 30,000 African women die each year because of complications from unsafe or illegal abortions. This accounts for 12 percent of all maternal deaths in Africa. Conference participants called on African governments to fund reproductive health and address unsafe abortion in national and health budgets. According to the communique issued by conference participants, they also called on multilateral and bilateral donor agencies to direct more resources to prevent unsafe abortion and to make abortion legal. Finally, participants “vehemently opposed” the global gag rule, which was re-instituted in 2001 by US President George Bush. The global gag rule prohibits funding from going to family planning organizations that, with their own money, provide abortion referrals, perform abortions, or discuss abortion. “We call on African governments and the global community to be accountable to their citizens and other stakeholders by opposing it,” the communique said. According to Ipas, Dr. Eunice Brookman-Amissah, one of the conference organizers and former Minister of Health in Ghana, said, “the gag rule’s impact in Africa is tragic. As leaders who are concerned about Africa’s women and Africa’s future, we cannot and will not be gagged. We must speak out and we must do something to stop unsafe abortion from killing our women and girls.”

In addition, at a one-day meeting at Nairobi Hospital in Kenya, the controversial issue of legalizing abortion was discussed. According to The Nation Nairobi, approximately 5,000 women and girls die from complications from unsafe abortion in Kenya each year. Legalization of abortion and access to safe contraceptive methods would significantly decrease the number of deaths resulting from abortion complications.

LEARN MORE Click here to read women's narratives about barriers or successes in accessing reproductive health and family planning services.

Media Resources: The Nation (Nairobi) 4/6/03; Ipas 3/4/03; Conference Communique March 5-7, 2003


© 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

8/21/2014 Flexible Work Requests Produce Fatherhood Bonus and Motherhood Penalty - According to a recent study, men who request flexible work schedules are advantaged over women who make the same requests. In the study by Dr. . . .
 
8/21/2014 Ugandan President Signs Law Making HIV Transmission Illegal - A bill that criminalizes HIV transmission has been signed into law by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. Provisions of the law include possible imprisonment of HIV-positive individuals, a ten-year prison sentence and fine for the "intentional transmission of HIV," a five-year prison sentence for "attempted transmission of HIV," and compulsory testing in some situations. . . .
 
8/21/2014 Reproductive Justice Activists Testify Before UN About Health Care Discrimination - A joint study by three major women's health advocacy groups calls attention to the overwhelming disparity in health outcomes for women of color in the United States. . . .