Article By Esther Mwende
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) unsafe abortion remains a preventable public health tragedy and a violation of women and girls’ human rights. It accounts for 13% of global maternal mortalities, with hundreds of thousands of survivors living with long-term complications, including infertility and chronic pain. Criminalization of abortion has led to many young people seeking unsafe abortion methods such as drinking detergent in an attempt to terminate their pregnancy which has led to death, mental health illnesses, damaged reproductive health systems, abandoned and neglected children to mothers who were not ready to bear children to increase in number of teen mothers in the country.
Safe abortion is a human right, part, and parcel of achieving universal health care in the country. Gender equality cannot be achieved without giving women the freedom to make informed choices about their Sexual and Reproductive health. Kenya should make efforts in lifting the restrictions around safe abortion and make the lifesaving services accessible, affordable, available, and of good quality in the country. Post-abortion care should also be made accessible at the community level by trained midwives to anyone in need of them on an emergency basis. Safe abortion should also be part of comprehensive sexuality education so that youth can make informed choices about their bodies and their socioeconomic futures.