Africa https://reproductiverights.org/taxonomy/term/123/all en Expulsion of Pregnant and Married Girls from School Must Stop https://reproductiverights.org/story/forced-pregnancy-testing-schoolgirls-tanzania-must-stop <span>Expulsion of Pregnant and Married Girls from School Must Stop</span> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Subhead</div> <div class="field__item">The Center has filed a complaint to bring this discriminatory and reprehensible practice to a halt</div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/475" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">stacym</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/17/2019 - 10:43</span> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Primary Content</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-formatted-text field--type-text-long field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Text</div> <div class="field__item"><meta name="twitter:card" content="summary_large_image" /><meta name="twitter:description" content="The Center has filed a lawsuit to bring this discriminatory and reprehensible practice to a halt" /><meta name="twitter:title" content="Expulsion of Pregnant and Married Girls from School Must Stop" /><meta name="twitter:image" content="https://reproductiverights.org/sites/default/files/20190617-TZFiling-og-image-v2.jpg" /><p>On June 17, with our Tanzanian partner the Legal and Human Rights Centre, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a complaint before the <em>African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child </em>challenging the forced pregnancy testing and expulsion of pregnant and married school girls, and the lack of policy regarding re-entry.</p> <p>Every year, thousands of adolescent girls in Tanzania are subjected to this invasive practice, which has been almost universally adopted by school administrators and is supported by government officials under the guise of curbing early pregnancies. Our complaint urges the Committee to find that these practices infringe on girls’ rights to education and equality and non-discrimination, and are not in line with the principle of the best interest of the child. We also request that the Government of Tanzania implement measures to ensure access to youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services and information, a more effective way to prevent early pregnancies.</p> <p>This complaint was born from <a href="https://www.reproductiverights.org/sites/crr.civicactions.net/files/documents/crr_Tanzania_Report_Part1.pdf">a fact-finding report</a> the Center published that documented the impact forced pregnancy testing and school expulsion has on adolescent girls’ lives. In our report, secondary school students Sikudhani and Tatu recalled being misled and surprised by school officials the first time they were forced to undergo a school-mandated pregnancy test. Neither girl was asked to give consent. “It’s an ambush order,” explained Tatu. Both girls were lined up with the rest of their female classmates to await their turn at testing, which sometimes includes an invasive physical exam as well as a urinary test.</p> <p>If found to be pregnant, girls are immediately expelled and are often banned from returning to school after giving birth. Preventing adolescent girls from completing their studies leads to a cascade of harms that perpetuate the cycle of poverty and gender inequality: education is a critical pathway for a person’s ability to engage meaningfully in the economic, political, and social life of their country and their community.</p> <p>In filing this case today, we seek to break this continuum, and demand that the government immediately cease forced pregnancy testing and the expulsion of pregnant and married girls. In its place, the government and schools must provide appropriate and necessary reproductive health education, information, and services to ensure that Tanzanian adolescent girls—and all youth—can make informed decisions about their reproductive health and future.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/young-peoples-rights" hreflang="en">Young People&#039;s Rights</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/tanzania" hreflang="en">Tanzania</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/in-the-courts" hreflang="en">In the Courts</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Mon, 17 Jun 2019 14:43:40 +0000 stacym 58588 at https://reproductiverights.org Center for Reproductive Rights and the Legal and Human Rights Centre file a complaint challenging the expulsion and exclusion of pregnant school girls in Tanzania https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/complaint-challenging-expulsion-of-pregnant-girls-in-tanzania <span>Center for Reproductive Rights and the Legal and Human Rights Centre file a complaint challenging the expulsion and exclusion of pregnant school girls in Tanzania </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/81" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehorwitz</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/17/2019 - 09:59</span> <div class="field field--name-field-new-ty field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <h2 class="field__label visually-hidden">News Type</h2> <div class="field__item"><a href="/press-room/press-releases" hreflang="en">Press Releases</a></div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Primary Content</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-formatted-text field--type-text-long field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Text</div> <div class="field__item"><p><span><span><span><strong>Dar es Salaam - (</strong>PRESS RELEASE) Today, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) filed a Complaint before the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child challenging the expulsion and exclusion of pregnant girls from public schools in Tanzania. The Complaint was filed on behalf of female students in Tanzania and alleges violations of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and other international and regional human rights instruments ratified by the country.  </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><strong>"Forcing girls to undergo pregnancy tests against their will, expelling them from schools if found to be pregnant, and denying re-entry after childbirth infringes on their right to education and equality and non-discrimination,” said Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa at the Center for Reproductive Rights. </strong> </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Tanzania has a long history of implementing discriminatory practices against pregnant schoolgirls. In June 2017, Tanzania’s President John Magufuli sparked outrage from local and regional human rights groups by declaring that students who become pregnant should not be allowed to finish their studies after giving birth.  </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><strong>“While both boy and girl students may face interruptions to their schooling, girls disproportionately bear the harshest consequences under the Tanzanian law. Pregnant school girls have a right to education and should be supported to stay in schools” said Fulgence Massawe, Director of Advocacy and Reforms at the Legal and Human Rights Centre</strong>. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Yesterday, on the Day of the African Child, the world reflected on the unique challenges that children face throughout the continent. Today, we take action to hold the Tanzanian government accountable for violating the rights of adolescent girls and the continual rise of teen pregnancies in Tanzania. The <span><span><a href="https://dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/FR321/FR321.pdf"><span><span>2015-2016 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey</span></span></a></span></span> found that one in four women aged 15 to 19 are mothers. Schools often lack comprehensive sexuality education, <span><span><a href="https://www.reproductiverights.org/sites/crr.civicactions.net/files/documents/crr_Tanzania_Report_Part1.pdf"><span><span>with students reporting</span></span></a></span></span> that they do not have the information they need to prevent pregnancy. Many of these girls became pregnant as a result of rape. Currently, there is no national sexuality education curriculum in mainland Tanzania. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>On September 2012, Legal and Human Rights Centre, together with the National Organisation for Legal Assistance, filed a petition in the High Court of Tanzania against the Minister of Education and Vocational Training and the Attorney General of Tanzania on behalf of school girls in Tanzania, alleging that forced pregnancy testing in schools and the enforcement of the provisions of the 2002 Education (Expulsion and Exclusion of Pupils from Schools) Regulation, as far it is used to expel pregnant students from school, violated the provisions of the Constitution of Tanzania, in particular, Article 13 of the Constitution which guarantees the right to equality and non-discrimination. In August 2017, nearly five years after the petitioners first filed the case, the High Court dismissed the petitioners’ case on all counts. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>In 2013, the Center for Reproductive Rights released <span><span><a href="https://www.reproductiverights.org/document/tanzania-report-forced-out-mandatory-pregnancy-testing-expulsion"><span><span>Forced Out</span></span></a></span></span><em>: Mandatory Pregnancy Testing and the Expulsion of Pregnant Students in Tanzanian Schools,</em> a publication which documented that school officials in Tanzania were mandatorily expelling pregnant girls from schools. The same publication pointed out that annually, an estimated 8,000 female students dropped out of school due to pregnancy. Mandatory pregnancy testing is a serious infringement of girls’ rights to privacy and autonomy. </span></span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/young-peoples-rights" hreflang="en">Young People&#039;s Rights</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/tanzania" hreflang="en">Tanzania</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/in-the-courts" hreflang="en">In the Courts</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Mon, 17 Jun 2019 13:59:56 +0000 ehorwitz 58593 at https://reproductiverights.org The Center wins a major victory for abortion rights in Africa https://reproductiverights.org/story/center-wins-major-victory-abortion-rights-africa <span>The Center wins a major victory for abortion rights in Africa</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jeanne</span></span> <span>Wed, 06/12/2019 - 14:22</span> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Primary Content</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-formatted-text field--type-text-long field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Text</div> <div class="field__item"><p>In a groundbreaking decision, the High Court of Kenya ruled that the Ministry of Health’s 2014 withdrawal of the “Standards and Guidelines for Reducing Morbidity and Mortality from Unsafe Abortion in Kenya” (Standards &amp; Guidelines), and its subsequent ban on abortion trainings for health care professionals, were arbitrary and unlawful. The Standards &amp; Guidelines was an important policy document that guided health care providers on when and how they could provide safe and legal abortion and post-abortion services.</p> <p>With this ruling, the five-judge bench has resoundingly reaffirmed the constitutional protections for legal abortions in Kenya when the life and health of the pregnant woman is threatened, including for survivors of sexual violence, or in cases of emergency.</p> <p>The Center for Reproductive Rights filed this case in 2015 on behalf of JMM, an adolescent girl who became pregnant as a result of rape at the age of 14. JMM was unable to access safe abortion or the post-abortion care she needed after seeking out a termination from an unqualified provider. JMM later died from ensuing complications. Unfortunately, the case of JMM is not unique—seven women and girls die from unsafe abortion in Kenya every day.</p> <p>“No woman or girl should die from the inability to access reproductive health care, including abortion,” said Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa. “Today’s judgment is a critical step in ensuring that unsafe abortion does not take the lives of any more of our women and girls.”</p> <p>One of the key, galvanizing aspects of this win is that the Court emphasized the definition of the right to health to include complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  As such, the Court affirmed that victims of sexual violence in Kenya have the constitutional right to abortion when, in the opinion of a trained health care professional, the continuation of pregnancy poses a risk to this broad definition of health.</p> <p>The Center’s Senior Legal Advisor Martin Onyango, who argued the case, states, “This is a big and unprecedented win for this country.”</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-related-content field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/press-room/kenyas-constitutional-court-issues-landmark-ruling-access-safe-abortion-case-against" hreflang="en">Kenya’s High Court issues a landmark ruling on access to safe abortion in a case against Ministry of Health </a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/africa" hreflang="en">Africa</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/kenya" hreflang="en">Kenya</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/in-the-courts" hreflang="en">In the Courts</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Wed, 12 Jun 2019 18:22:51 +0000 jeanne 58581 at https://reproductiverights.org Kenya’s High Court issues a landmark ruling on access to safe abortion in a case against Ministry of Health  https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/kenyas-constitutional-court-issues-landmark-ruling-access-safe-abortion-case-against <span>Kenya’s High Court issues a landmark ruling on access to safe abortion in a case against Ministry of Health </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jeanne</span></span> <span>Wed, 06/12/2019 - 13:14</span> <div class="field field--name-field-new-ty field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <h2 class="field__label visually-hidden">News Type</h2> <div class="field__item"><a href="/press-room/press-releases" hreflang="en">Press Releases</a></div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Primary Content</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-formatted-text field--type-text-long field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Text</div> <div class="field__item"><p>Today, the Center for Reproductive Rights won a landmark case challenging the government’s withdrawal of “Standards and Guidelines for Reducing Morbidity and Mortality from Unsafe Abortion in Kenya” (Standards &amp; Guidelines). The Center filed the case on behalf of an adolescent (JMM)—who died last year after suffering from complications that resulted from an unsafe abortion—as well as the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Kenya and two community human rights advocates. The case was presided over by a five-judge bench at the High Court of Kenya.</p> <p>In this ground breaking decision, the Court found that the Director of Medical Services and the Ministry of Health had violated the rights of Kenyan women and girls by arbitrarily withdrawing the guidelines, thereby creating uncertainty as to the status of legal abortion and discouraging medical providers from performing abortions for fear of criminal prosecution. It provided a comprehensive ruling which: </p> <ul><li><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Declared that women and girls have the right to the highest attainable standard of health—which includes its broadest interpretation, to include mental and social well-being as well as physical—right to non-discrimination, right to life, and other rights.</span></span></span></span>  </span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>The Court ordered individual reparations of </span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Skh</span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span> 3 million, or USD $29,600, to JMM’s mother. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span>  </span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Declared that the memo violated and threatened the rights of health workers, therefore, the memo and letter were found unlawful, illegal and now void.</span></span></span></span>  </span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Stated that abortion is illegal except under conditions of Article 26(4).</span></span></span></span>  </span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Declared that abortion is permitted for victims of sexual violence.</span></span></span></span>  </span></span></span></span></span></li> </ul><p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Unsafe abortion is one of the main causes of maternal deaths in Kenya. <span><span><span>Despite the fact that</span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span> these deaths are preventable, seven women and girls die from unsafe abortion every day. Women and girls seek unsafe clandestine abortions due to a lack of access to reproductive health information and quality services, lack of clarity on the legal status of abortion, and pervasive cultural stigma.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span>  </span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span>  </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><strong>“This is a landmark ruling and victory for Kenyan women and girls. JMM’s case is a window into the plight of many other women and girls who have no place to turn, and no access to information or reproductive health services. With the implementation of this court order, health providers will be able to offer abortion and post-abortion care services without the fear of being prosecuted. And it is a step in the right direction toward improving maternal health outcomes for our country,” </strong></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span>said Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa for the </span><span><span><span><span>Center</span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span>.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span>  </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>According to a </span></span></span></span><span><span><a href="http://aphrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Incidence-and-Complications-of-Unsafe-Abortion-in-Kenya-Key-Findings-of-a-National-Study.pdf"><span lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span><span><span><span><span><span>study</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></a></span></span><span><span><span><span> conducted by African Population and Health Research </span><span><span><span><span>Center</span></span></span></span> </span></span></span><span><span><span><span lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span><span>(APHRC) </span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span>and the Ministry of Health, approximately 464,000 women had an abortion in Kenya in 2012. Of those, nearly 120,000 were admitted to public health facilities for severe complications. In a 2018 </span></span></span></span><span><span><a href="http://aphrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/The-Costs-of-Treating-Unsafe-Abortion-Complications-in-Public-Health-Facilities-in-Kenya_Final.pdf"><span lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span><span><span><span><span>study</span></span></span></span></span></span></a></span></span><span><span><span><span>, the Ministry of Health and the African Population and Health Research </span><span><span><span><span>Center</span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span> also found that the cost of treating complications arising from unsafe abortion in public facilities in Kenya was </span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Ksh</span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span> 432.7 million, or US $5.1 million. These findings highlight the significant financial burden of unsafe abortion in Kenya. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span>  </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><strong>“I am very pleased with today’s ruling,” </strong></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span>said PKM, JMM’s mother.</span><strong><span><span><span><span> “I know this is what my daughter, JMM, would have wanted to see: that justice is served, and that Kenyan women and girls in need of emergency health services including abortion, regardless of their social economic status, are able to access safe and legal abortion services without fear of being stigmatized.”  </span></span></span></span></strong></span></span></span>  </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>In September 2012, the Ministry of Medical Services published the “Standards and Guidelines for Reducing Morbidity and Mortality from Unsafe Abortion in Kenya.” However, In December 2013, the Director of Medical Services withdrew the Standards and Guidelines without explanation, and without the involvement of the stakeholders who had participated in its development. The withdrawal was followed by a memo in February 2014 that further stated that there was no need for the training of health workers on safe abortion care or the use of the drug </span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Medabon</span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span> for medical abortion. The Ministry threatened health providers with dire legal and professional consequences if they participated in any abortion training.  Cumulatively, these actions created confusion among health providers as to when to offer abortion services, including post-abortion care services. The result has been a chilling effect: fearing reprisal, health professionals have opted out of providing services to women and girls even when they fall under the permitted legal grounds for abortion. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span>  </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>In 2015, the </span><span><span><span><span>Center</span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span>, representing all the petitioners, filed a case against the Attorney General, Director of Medical Services, and the Ministry of Health. The Petition was challenging the Ministry of Health and urging the High Court to protect women’s health and lives by restoring safe abortion trainings. Furthermore, the Petition called on the Ministry of Health to reinstate Standards and Guidelines to provide clarity on when and how to provide legal abortion care. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span>  </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>### </span></span></span></span>   </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-related-content field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/story/center-wins-major-victory-abortion-rights-africa" hreflang="en">The Center wins a major victory for abortion rights in Africa</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/africa" hreflang="en">Africa</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/kenya" hreflang="en">Kenya</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/in-the-courts" hreflang="en">In the Courts</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Wed, 12 Jun 2019 17:14:02 +0000 jeanne 58580 at https://reproductiverights.org The World’s Abortion Laws: Supplemental Publications https://reproductiverights.org/document/worlds-abortion-laws-supplemental-publications <span>The World’s Abortion Laws: Supplemental Publications </span> <div class="field field--name-field-publication-document-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <h2 class="field__label visually-hidden">Publication Document Type</h2> <div class="field__item"><a href="/document/books-reports" hreflang="en">Books &amp; Reports</a></div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <span><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jeanne</span></span> <span>Tue, 05/28/2019 - 16:25</span> <div class="field field--name-field-file-upload field--type-file field--label-visually_hidden crr-upload"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">File Upload</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"><a href="https://reproductiverights.org/sites/default/files/documents/World-Abortion-Map.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=5751923" title="World-Abortion-Map.pdf">The World’s Abortion Laws Map (2019)</a></span> </div> <div class="field__item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"><a href="https://reproductiverights.org/sites/default/files/documents/World-Abortion-Map-AcceleratingProgress.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=291381" title="World-Abortion-Map-AcceleratingProgress.pdf">Accelerating Progress: Liberalization of Abortion Laws Since ICPD (Fact Sheet) </a></span> </div> <div class="field__item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"><a href="https://reproductiverights.org/sites/default/files/documents/World-Abortion-Map-ByTheNumbers.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=833017" title="World-Abortion-Map-ByTheNumbers.pdf">By the Numbers: The Legal Status of Abortion Worldwide (Fact Sheet) </a></span> </div> <div class="field__item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"><a href="https://reproductiverights.org/sites/default/files/documents/World-Abortion-Map-GlobalView.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=62233" title="World-Abortion-Map-GlobalView.pdf">A Global View: Mapping Abortion Rights Worldwide </a></span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-related-content field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/document/the-worlds-abortion-laws-map" hreflang="en">The World&#039;s Abortion Laws Map (2014)</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/united-states" hreflang="en">United States</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/africa" hreflang="en">Africa</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/asia" hreflang="en">Asia</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/europe" hreflang="en">Europe</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/latin-america-caribbean" hreflang="en">Latin America &amp; Caribbean</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/reporting-on-rights" hreflang="en">Reporting on Rights</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Tue, 28 May 2019 20:25:14 +0000 jeanne 58516 at https://reproductiverights.org Standing up Against Abortion Opposition in Nairobi https://reproductiverights.org/Standing-up-Against-Abortion-Opposition-Nairobi <span>Standing up Against Abortion Opposition in Nairobi</span> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Subhead</div> <div class="field__item">The Center for Reproductive Rights and ally organizations take a petition to the government demanding anti-abortion billboards come down</div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jeanne</span></span> <span>Thu, 05/02/2019 - 10:49</span> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Primary Content</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-formatted-text field--type-text-long field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Text</div> <div class="field__item"><div style="background-color:#ffe4c6; padding:20px 20px 5px 20px;"> <p style="color:#000000; margin:0; padding:0; font-size:11pt; line-height:1.45em;"><strong>UPDATE:</strong> SUCCESS! The billboards came down in May. The Nairobi County Government responded to our request, removing the inaccurate and inflammatory anti-abortion billboards that had been erected throughout Nairobi. We applaud the government’s commitment to upholding the country’s constitution by ensuring that citizens have access to accurate and reliable information as well as access to necessary health services. We are thankful to our partners who stand strong with us in our fight to expand access to safe and legal abortion services in Kenya.</p> </div> <p> </p> <p>Making a strong stand against heightened organized anti-abortion activities in Nairobi, the Center for Reproductive Rights joined Kenyan women’s rights organizations and activists on April 24 in delivering a petition with over 500 signatures to the Nairobi County government. We demanded that Kenyan authorities remove the inflammatory and misleading anti-abortion billboards that have recently been put up around the city. </p> <p>“The billboards fuel stigma and misinformation on abortion, creating an environment that adversely affects reproductive health providers and women seeking these services,” said Evelyne Opondo, our Senior Regional Director for Africa.  </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">The anti-abortion billboards are sponsored by Sozo Church of God, a Nairobi-based church that opened in 2013. </p> <p>The group has also claimed that abortion in Kenya is illegal—when it is constitutionally protected when the life or health of a woman is at risk. Seven women die from unsafe abortion in Kenya every day and these mistruths only serve to drive abortion further underground, putting the health and lives of Kenyan women and girls on the line. </p> <p>This stigmatizing rhetoric has also created serious policy setbacks: in 2015, the government revoked the S<em>tandards and Guidelines for Reducing Morbidity and Mortality from Unsafe Abortion</em> that inform health care providers on when they are legally permitted to provide the service. In 2017, the government banned Marie Stopes International, a reproductive health care provider, from providing abortion services and information.  </p> <p>The Center has challenged both of these developments in court and decisions are pending. We will continue to partner and stand with our ally organizations in combatting stigma, misinformation, and gender discrimination, securing reproductive health and rights for all Kenyan women. </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-related-content field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/press-room/petition-demanding-removal-of-misleading-billboards" hreflang="en">The Center for Reproductive Rights, its regional partners and women’s groups demand that Nairobi County remove billboards with misleading information on the constitutional right to abortion</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/anti-choice-harassment" hreflang="en">Anti-Choice Harassment</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/censorship" hreflang="en">Censorship</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/biased-information" hreflang="en">Biased Information</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/africa" hreflang="en">Africa</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/kenya" hreflang="en">Kenya</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/engaging-policymakers" hreflang="en">Engaging Policymakers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/around-world" hreflang="en">Around the World</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Thu, 02 May 2019 14:49:41 +0000 jeanne 58269 at https://reproductiverights.org The Center for Reproductive Rights, its regional partners and women’s groups demand that Nairobi County remove billboards with misleading information on the constitutional right to abortion https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/petition-demanding-removal-of-misleading-billboards <span>The Center for Reproductive Rights, its regional partners and women’s groups demand that Nairobi County remove billboards with misleading information on the constitutional right to abortion</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/81" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehorwitz</span></span> <span>Thu, 04/25/2019 - 12:16</span> <div class="field field--name-field-new-ty field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <h2 class="field__label visually-hidden">News Type</h2> <div class="field__item"><a href="/press-room/press-releases" hreflang="en">Press Releases</a></div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Primary Content</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-formatted-text field--type-text-long field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Text</div> <div class="field__item"><p><strong>Nairobi</strong> - (Press Release) Today, a coalition of 11 civil society organizations, individuals and women’s groups under the umbrella Team Life delivered a petition to Nairobi County Governor, Mike Mbuvi, demanding the immediate removal of billboards and advertisements posted on street light poles within Nairobi city that convey inaccurate and misleading messages on the legality of abortion services in Kenya. The petition also demands that all advertisements about public health services fully adhere to the Kenyan Constitution and the health laws.</p> <p>The billboards are sponsored by a religious group calling itself Sozo church of God and are the latest in a string of misinformation attacks on women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. A coalition of 11 civil society organizations and over 500 individuals have signed the petition, which calls for the removal of the billboards and advertisements within Nairobi city that convey inaccurate messages on abortion services. Therefore, the petition is also asking the county to constitute a team to investigate and satisfy the administration of the activities of Sozo church of God and similar organizations that seek to disseminate misleading information on abortion within Nairobi.  </p> <p>“The messages on the billboards fuel stigma and misinformation on abortion creating an environment that adversely affects reproductive health providers and women seeking these services. The messages also contradict provisions of the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land and one we all have a duty to defend,” said Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for the Center for Reproductive Rights. </p> <p>“The government has a responsibility to protect its citizens from inaccurate information particularly on a matter of public health of such magnitude. Such blatant misinformation should not be licensed by a government that has prioritized health as part of its Big four agenda. We demand that the Nairobi County pulls down the billboards with immediate effect,” said Jedidah Maina, Executive Director, Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health. </p> <p>Abortion is legal in Kenya in cases of emergency and when a woman’s life or health are at risk. Emergencies necessitating abortion include miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, when the fetus cannot survive outside the mother’s womb and sexual violence.  However, shame and stigma prevent many women and girls from seeking emergency quality health care services, including abortion. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of women and girls seeking more clandestine services from unqualified doctors and quacks whose lack of medical expertise further endangers the lives of patients.  </p> <p>In Kenya seven women die every day from unsafe abortions; these deaths are preventable. An estimated 464,690 women underwent an abortion in Kenya in 2012 and nearly 120,000 women were admitted to public health facilities that year for severe complications, according to a study conducted by African Population and Health Research Center and the Ministry of Health. Further, the report found that unsafe abortion accounts for a quarter of maternal deaths in Kenya.  </p> <p>Nairobi County is striving to provide quality reproductive healthcare.  However, misleading information presumably approved by officers of the County Government undermines the efforts by the County government and its partners to offer quality reproductive health services to all residents of Nairobi, especially those from informal settlements who face multiple barriers while seeking reproductive health services. </p> <p><strong>Other organizations include;</strong> FIDA Kenya, Ipas Africa Alliance, KELIN, Network for Adolescent and Youth Africa, Red Tape, Reproductive Health Network Kenya, Right Here Right Now, Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health, Women’s Link Worldwide, Xhale Africa and Bunge la Wamama Mashinani.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/africa" hreflang="en">Africa</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/kenya" hreflang="en">Kenya</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/engaging-policymakers" hreflang="en">Engaging Policymakers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/around-world" hreflang="en">Around the World</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Thu, 25 Apr 2019 16:16:11 +0000 ehorwitz 58499 at https://reproductiverights.org The tragic impacts of unsafe abortion care in Kenya are all too real. https://reproductiverights.org/story/wanjikus-story <span>The tragic impacts of unsafe abortion care in Kenya are all too real.</span> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Subhead</div> <div class="field__item">Hundreds of thousands of Kenyan women and girls have risked their lives to end a pregnancy. This is Wanjiku&#039;s story.</div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/99" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">mthai</span></span> <span>Thu, 01/24/2019 - 18:43</span> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Primary Content</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-formatted-text field--type-text-long field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Text</div> <div class="field__item"><p>In Kenya, abortion is allowed only when the life and health of the mother is at risk or in when a trained medical professional believes the situation to be an emergency. Due to intense stigma and shame surrounding abortion, women are forced to seek clandestine care from untrained health providers. Approximately a quarter of the estimated 465,000 illegal abortions that women seek out in Kenya each year result in severe complications and hospitalizations. Thousands of women and girls are injured for life—or do not survive. Our client, Wanjiku, not her real name, was one of these girls.</p> <p>In the Kenyan context, <em>Wanjiku </em>is symbolic of an ordinary person—any woman, every woman—and in a country where more than 30 percent of girls under 18 experience sexual violence and more than 40 percent of pregnancies are unintentional, Wanjiku’s story represents the stories of hundreds of thousands just like her.</p> <p>When she was just 14, Wanjiku was coerced into a sexual relationship with an older man in her village and later discovered that she was pregnant. Abortion is stigmatized in Kenya due to conservative religious beliefs, and Wanjiku found herself in a desperate situation with no way out.</p> <p>Like many other women and girls who find themselves in this position, Wanjiku sought abortion care from an unqualified provider. She became ill almost immediately after the procedure and required immediate medical attention. Instead, she had to visit multiple hospitals that could not provide the necessary services. When she finally did find a qualified facility, she was neglected, abused, and forced to sleep on a mattress on the dirty hospital floor during her stay.   </p> <p>In 2015, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a petition to hold the government accountable for this gross injustice. The petition challenges the lack of guidelines on abortion that can guide health care providers in cases such as Wanjiku’s. The petition further challenges the government’s directive banning health providers from participating in any abortion training thus limiting their ability to respond in cases where abortion is necessary of where post abortion care is required.  By withdrawing the Standards and Guidelines for reducing morbidity and mortality from unsafe abortions in Kenya, prohibiting trainings on safe abortion care, and banning medabon, a safe and effective method of medication abortion, the Kenyan government stole Wanjiku’s life.</p> <p>The Center has been fighting for Wanjiku and her mother for almost four years now. For Three years after the petition was filed, and after suffering from a slew of severe health complications for over four years as a result of the botched procedure, Wanjiku passed away.</p> <p>The Center has been fighting for Wanjiku and her mother for almost four years now, and for those four years, Wanjiku suffered from a slew of severe health complications that could have been prevented if she had received timely care after the botched procedure. Ultimately, this delay in care led to her premature death last year.</p> <p>This story is all too common in Kenya, and the Center for Reproductive Rights will not stop fighting until Wanjiku, her mother, and countless families like theirs receive justice for the flagrant human rights violations that they have suffered.</p> <p>In December 2018, the Center had the last hearing and submissions in the case. It is currently pending judgment on notice from the judges.</p> <p><a href="https://secure3.convio.net/cfrr/site/Donation2;jsessionid=00000000.app30132b?df_id=5880&amp;5880.donation=form1&amp;s_src=webfeature&amp;s_subsrc=datasync&amp;_ga=2.236133766.603131060.1556140089-2085880141.1541788324&amp;NONCE_TOKEN=D9298E9984C286543D8969812BE2FB90"><img alt="Donate Now" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="de03996c-bac2-4f09-819a-db1c35452f67" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/donate_now_red_1_0_1.png" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/young-peoples-rights" hreflang="en">Young People&#039;s Rights</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/africa" hreflang="en">Africa</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/kenya" hreflang="en">Kenya</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/engaging-policymakers" hreflang="en">Engaging Policymakers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/around-world" hreflang="en">Around the World</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Thu, 24 Jan 2019 23:43:54 +0000 mthai 58265 at https://reproductiverights.org The Center for Reproductive Rights Sues Kenyan Officials over recent Ban on Marie Stopes https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/center-reproductive-rights-sues-kenyan-officials-over-recent-ban-marie-stopes <span>The Center for Reproductive Rights Sues Kenyan Officials over recent Ban on Marie Stopes </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/81" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehorwitz</span></span> <span>Fri, 11/30/2018 - 12:16</span> <div class="field field--name-field-new-ty field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <h2 class="field__label visually-hidden">News Type</h2> <div class="field__item"><a href="/press-room/press-releases" hreflang="en">Press Releases</a></div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Primary Content</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-formatted-text field--type-text-long field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Text</div> <div class="field__item"><p><span><span><span><span>(PRESS RELEASE) The Center for Reproductive Rights and co-counsel Sofia Rajab-Leteipan of Leteipan &amp; Associates Advocates have today filed a case at the High Court, Nairobi, against Kenyan government officials. The petition is challenging the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB, Kenya’s medical regulatory authority) on their recent decision to ban Marie Stopes Kenya from providing any abortion and post abortion care services to women and girls despite the fact that abortion is allowed under the Constitution when the health or the life of the woman is in danger or in cases of emergency.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Marie Stopes Kenya—an organization that provides quality, affordable reproductive health care to poor, vulnerable, and under-served populations in clinics across Kenya—has also been banned by the Kenya Film and Classification Board (KFCB) from providing reproductive health information to women and girls, following allegations that the charity was promoting abortion through a radio campaign they ran on Radio Africa. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>In Kenya, abortion is allowed if in the opinion of a medical provider a woman’s life or health is at risk, or in emergency situations. Post abortion care is essential emergency care, care to which every woman is entitled.</span></span> </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>The Center is filing the suit against the Cabinet Secretary for Health and the Director of Medical services, the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board, the Kenya Film and Classification Board and its CEO, Ezekiel Mutua. </span></span> </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>The actions of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB) and Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) undermine Kenyan women and girls’ access to reproductive health services and information, including access to safe and legal abortion and violates their human rights. <span>In addition, the ban by the medical board has had a chilling effect on healthcare service providers who are now in fear of providing these essential, life-saving services for fear of harassment and prosecution.  </span></span></span> </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>An estimated 464,690 women underwent an abortion in Kenya in 2012 and nearly 120,000 women were admitted to public health facilities that year for severe complications, according to a <a href="http://aphrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Incidence-and-Complications-of-Unsafe-Abortion-in-Kenya-Key-Findings-of-a-National-Study.pdf">study</a> conducted by African Population and Health Research Center and the Ministry of Health. Further, the report found that u<span>nsafe abortion accounts for a quarter of maternal deaths in Kenya.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>The health of Kenyan women and girls is now in jeopardy. Many will be forced to seek unsafe alternatives in the absence of affordable, quality care that is provided in nonjudgmental settings such as Marie Stopes. </span></span></span> </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>“Any ban on reproductive health  services  is a violation of the Kenyan Constitution and fundamental human rights and is an affront to women and girls,” </span></span></span></strong><span><span><span>said Evelyne Opondo, the Senior Regional Director for Africa, at the Center for Reproductive Rights,</span></span></span><strong><span><span> “We have seen time and time again that when governments limit or prevent qualified healthcare providers from providing abortion services, women and girls are forced to pursue unsafe and harmful alternatives.” </span></span></strong> </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><strong><span>“</span></strong><strong>Women of reproductive age need to access information that will enable them make informed decisions about their bodies and lives. It is therefore the government’s obligation to put in place policies and guidelines that address access to safe abortion services and ensure the full implementation of those policies,”</strong><strong> </strong><span>continued Ms. Opondo, </span><strong>“Women are dying from complications and disabilities that arise from unsafe abortion, yet these deaths are easily preventable. The government must show commitment towards addressing the issue of unsafe abortion to reduce the high rates of maternal mortality.”</strong></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>A report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Kenya shows that a total of 378, 397 adolescent girls became pregnant between July 2016 and June 2017. More specifically, there were 28,932 girls ages 10-14 and 349,465 girls aged 15-19 who became pregnant. The Ministry of Health should do more to prevent teenage pregnancies and their attendant consequences including by availing information that can enable girls and women to prevent unintended pregnancies. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>The Marie Stopes ban </span></span></span><span><span><span>i</span></span></span><span><span><span>s another indication that the Ministry of Health has not prioritized women and girls’ health and their lives continue to be at risk with the denial of access to reproductive health services. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Since 2015 the Center for Reproductive Rights and other </span></span></span><span><span><span>activists in Kenya have been in court challenging the withdrawal of the Standards and Guidelines that were meant to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality arising from unsafe abortion. The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a case against the Attorney General, the Ministry of Health and the Director of Medical Services on behalf of The Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Kenya, two community human rights mobilizers, and an adolescent rape survivor who has since </span></span></span><span><span>died</span></span><span><span><span> from complications of unsafe abortion. The Center is urging the High Court to protect women’s health and lives by restoring safe abortion trainings and calling on the Ministry of Health to introduce standards and guidelines that appropriately clarify when legal abortion can be provided based on the grounds set forth in the Constitution.  The final hearing for the Standards and Guidelines case is scheduled to take place next week at the High Court.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/funding-for-reproductive-healthcare" hreflang="en">Funding for Reproductive Healthcare</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/africa" hreflang="en">Africa</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/kenya" hreflang="en">Kenya</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/in-the-courts" hreflang="en">In the Courts</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Fri, 30 Nov 2018 17:16:23 +0000 ehorwitz 58072 at https://reproductiverights.org Nigeria’s Federal High Court Strikes Out Civil Society Organization’s Case of a Woman Who Was Illegally Detained and Died During Confinement https://reproductiverights.org/Nigeria-High-Court-Case-Woman-Illegally-Detained-Died <span>Nigeria’s Federal High Court Strikes Out Civil Society Organization’s Case of a Woman Who Was Illegally Detained and Died During Confinement</span> <span><span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anonymous (not verified)</span></span> <span>Fri, 05/18/2018 - 10:21</span> <div class="field field--name-field-new-ty field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <h2 class="field__label visually-hidden">News Type</h2> <div class="field__item"><a href="/press-room/press-releases" hreflang="en">Press Releases</a></div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Primary Content</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-formatted-text field--type-text-long field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Text</div> <div class="field__item"><p><strong>(PRESS RELEASE)</strong> The family of a woman who was illegally detained for the inability to clear her medical bill and denied emergency services leading to her death, yesterday had their case dismissed by the Federal High Court in Nigeria, due to a procedural irregularity that should not be applicable if the court had addressed the case as a human rights violation case. The case was brought to the Court in 2015 by the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) with technical support from the Center for Reproductive Rights. WARDC intends to appeal the decision and refile the case.</p> <p><strong>“This is travesty of Justice for Folake’s family. Folake was denied emergency care when she needed it most and left to die for her inability to clear medical bills despite efforts by her family to raise part of the money.’’ </strong>Said Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Executive Director of WARDC<strong>.</strong></p> <p><strong>“This is a blow to Nigerian women who seek maternal health services at both private and public health facilities and are faced with this kind of treatment.</strong></p> <p><strong>“It is the duty of government to ensure that Nigerian women and girls have access to quality and affordable reproductive healthcare services.”</strong></p> <p>High Court Justice Abdulazeez Anka struck out the case, stating that it was the wrong mode of commencement of action, and that a writ should have been applied.</p> <p><strong>“Illegal detention, abuse and mistreatment of care-seekers by health care providers at public health facilities should be strongly condemned and those involved should be held accountable.’’ </strong>Said Onyema Afulukwe, Senior Counsel for Africa, from the Center for Reproductive Rights.</p> <p><strong>“The government and law enforcement agencies must take the necessary steps to protect patients from unlawful detention in healthcare facilities and enact laws and policies that will end this shameful act of detention and ensure women’s human rights.’’</strong></p> <p>Nigeria has the highest number of maternal deaths in the world, with more than 58,000 women dying from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth each year, according to the <a href="http://email.prnewswire.com/wf/click?upn=c4aom5-2FxFqzUWhy65d9a-2FecmN8Rq57lG9jiAfAdJAuVgqA5aKD3-2B5OiUKquahgBBQu1J22arIW65cjR-2FYHZmqhpnRY-2FwGznlU4fPToMwGEt06L0vjkAyJ4S0Y2iYHDHRTznDlKLnxw4cd3ImJU9RbybFBwUFBdtPvqtksmFmOSdFUOAf64q5gL6ZD1UFyQWP_NNtbKgYe-2BrjxB6v8kn12hHom5nFRB4h7A2ym1x2wlvMAXLTHLXgh0rMSnd1EYyeWQZapV111tnIhmoqea-2FdQCHgDSSoGv-2FLKGKm2wwoGCv9Juo4DGFrx1YYkm5BDCN1KDtt-2BFJTDTSLRLatdM-2BsUNXpAEpfes70SLzvJkBcytJ17xvYBDxOdDr-2FiFVRDul7gKKBpVbKn0VMGm5DSP7YiXSWmKCJCcJW8xObrdnufQxsC7Fczzncyqow6seG-2By-2FsOXvjIPWaSzBSoUgyiO3svya6kfQ7ZXPcevPatf3x3ZdJLAgLm-2Fercsdt4zFZ-2BY9Lv">World Health Organization statistics</a>, yet most of these deaths and health consequences are preventable.</p> <p>In September 2014, Folake Oduyoye was admitted to Lagos University Teaching Hospital on due to complications from a caesarean delivery at another hospital on August 30. After receiving treatment and being discharged in October 2014, she and her husband received an outstanding bill of N 1,382,700, an equivalent of USD 3,840. He paid N 300,000, an equivalent of USD 830 but that was not sufficient for the hospital and they detained Folake—keeping her in a heavily guarded ward that lacked a toilet, electricity or mosquito netting.</p> <p>She was denied any medical attention because the hospital claimed she had been discharged, yet was locked in a ward against her will and needed post-surgical care for her caesarean. Her husband made multiple pleas for her release, assuring the hospital that they would pay the remaining balance monthly. But weeks went by, and she started having serious health complications. Their cries for help were ignored and Folake died in the hospital on December 13, 2014 from puerperal sepsis and pneumonia.</p> <p>The right to health is guaranteed in the African Charter which has been domesticated in Nigeria and necessitates that the Nigerian government and judiciary take positive action to safeguard its citizens’ health.</p> <p>WARDC has engaged the public in Nigeria on the need to ensure the reduction of maternal mortality through the ‘Not Again Campaign’. WARDC’s work has contributed immensely to development in the field of maternal health in Nigeria, such as securing justice for Mrs. Omowunmi Shonuga who died as a result of neglect and negligence by the Aregbesola Flagship Health Center in ALimosho Local Government Lagos. WARDC’s accountability work has also led to the closure of Gbagada hospital Blood Bank in 2016 over non- compliance with international standards of managements of blood banks.</p> <p>The Center for Reproductive Rights has filed a number of cases in Africa related to the mistreatment of women during delivery in public hospitals. In March of this year, in the <em>Josephine Oundo Ongwen vs the Attorney General &amp;, 4 Others</em>case, a Kenyan High Court found that National Government, County Government and the Bungoma District Hospital had violated <a href="http://email.prnewswire.com/wf/click?upn=7VDqtAz2AW-2FeY7XnbvsaseeUajYBV7Rlmxerx9L9q0RJ8jjY37c4SzQpJDRFwZJJlxhlSRAPeW2n3h-2Fn6igK9sL6IyquiUSa3ocv6MDcVWxiTH-2F4y4c63tQEAV-2FtsaN1HXkp9-2B7u-2FOY9IXKnVG8gsGBhmLDRvyEKefNCRPTBsqo-3D_NNtbKgYe-2BrjxB6v8kn12hHom5nFRB4h7A2ym1x2wlvMAXLTHLXgh0rMSnd1EYyeWQZapV111tnIhmoqea-2FdQCHgDSSoGv-2FLKGKm2wwoGCv9Juo4DGFrx1YYkm5BDCN1KDtt-2BFJTDTSLRLatdM-2BsUNXpAEpfes70SLzvJkBcytJ37RKbiHydiblayxW7TOcciVLvpPLU8YMfSyl-2BMjyLfpHYHdRqWmC-2BbHeGF-2B7uJkVLshPnS11ShO3iptPwQNmWf6hhH-2BP5xNJiXD-2BJxtwUEGvbf1Ec842hLJi67EOjMCw1etrIgrfwrmsLrRk7jeoVi">Josephine Majani’s</a> rights and ordered for her financial compensation resulting from the damages.  Josephine was physically and verbally abused during delivery.</p> <p>In 2015 in a separate case filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the High Court of Kenya ordered the Ministry of Health to end the discrimination and abuse experienced by women in public maternity hospitals, and provide financial compensation for Margaret and Maimuna, <a href="http://email.prnewswire.com/wf/click?upn=TwIh0OIjG8BOSB67uKqqj3N2VeuUkSeGbUWF8ubLD1-2BOt-2BvxTmu9LhGbdHOmTMMshm4-2FIYHNoO-2BHsPzJlDPXxguCDZlYBvosyrVIw9m6cI4eyv75ZEIgXZvxRLPKxDpfLHSdtMvJgcnOcTyFrH3JE91W3Pi-2Bb9YhLUoxdipQhDaQ6jLd0GdAoR-2Fpj-2FzjzS45_NNtbKgYe-2BrjxB6v8kn12hHom5nFRB4h7A2ym1x2wlvMAXLTHLXgh0rMSnd1EYyeWQZapV111tnIhmoqea-2FdQCHgDSSoGv-2FLKGKm2wwoGCv9Juo4DGFrx1YYkm5BDCN1KDtt-2BFJTDTSLRLatdM-2BsUNXpAEpfes70SLzvJkBcytJ0X1oknUXugvCIeZ-2FlCdd9vmt96uvG4vlWf76dapye-2FrP85DI7awF7ydz3zzOXnDvY0mk0OWtm42G58LvLvubVvxS-2F-2BhlHQ3KvNPARuE6WTPBNesSoWmK4Z6Ll74QaqgZuWAoH2cqE4AKJbbkjTS1wq" target="_blank">two women</a> who were illegally detained at Pumwani Maternity Hospital for their inability to pay their hospital fees and were subjected to physical, mental, and verbal abuse. </p> <p>The Center for Reproductive Rights has worked in Africa for more than a decade advancing women’s access to reproductive health care through law and policy reform. In 2008, the Center and WARDC  release the report <a href="http://email.prnewswire.com/wf/click?upn=TwIh0OIjG8BOSB67uKqqj3N2VeuUkSeGbUWF8ubLD18GaYt8lKvjV6GhEdKuWxG-2FkK3f99CVgglVOEaTQEpTZKq5UOR9YlMZqS9y2rhMYGo3gY-2FjWNdXpZLL-2FkdbFN12yNIzpfFuzIT4HADkLkYszEa-2FsA4e0FXvYvwLeXgF1dE-3D_NNtbKgYe-2BrjxB6v8kn12hHom5nFRB4h7A2ym1x2wlvMAXLTHLXgh0rMSnd1EYyeWQZapV111tnIhmoqea-2FdQCHgDSSoGv-2FLKGKm2wwoGCv9Juo4DGFrx1YYkm5BDCN1KDtt-2BFJTDTSLRLatdM-2BsUNXpAEpfes70SLzvJkBcytJ0TxlI28xYwy-2BFynXdr45lkgz-2Bqsc2KH4pbQttBZygIq1tdWjGdz36IX-2FlBI4PHuuwW37KI-2FttChD-2B07XfVnt-2BvPvrGLvjMBP6UtURvvKV4EI-2FJwihoKhksNJXDu6SxafzofD-2FoXhB07Q19NGCEDwtd" target="_blank">Broken Promises: Human Rights, Accountability, and Maternal Death in Nigeria</a> illustrating the systemic failures of the Nigerian government to live up to its human rights obligations, including access to quality maternal health services.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-related-content field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/press-room/kenya-high-court-rules-in-favor-of-woman-physically-abused-during-delivery" hreflang="en">Kenya’s High Court Rules in Favor of Woman Physically Abused During Delivery</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/press-room/kenyan-high-court-maternity-hospital-illegally-imprisoned-women-violated-human-rights" hreflang="en">Kenyan High Court: Maternity Hospital Illegally Imprisoned Women, Violated Human Rights</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/document/broken-promises-human-rights-accountability-and-maternal-death-in-nigeria" hreflang="en">Broken Promises: Human Rights, Accountability, and Maternal Death in Nigeria</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/legal-protections" hreflang="en">Legal Protections</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/young-peoples-rights" hreflang="en">Young People&#039;s Rights</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/legal-restrictions" hreflang="en">Legal Restrictions</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/maternal-health" hreflang="en">Maternal Health</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/access-quality-care" hreflang="en">Access to Quality Care</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/maternal-mortality" hreflang="en">Maternal Mortality</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/funding-for-reproductive-healthcare" hreflang="en">Funding for Reproductive Healthcare</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/other-financial-barriers" hreflang="en">Other Financial Barriers</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/africa" hreflang="en">Africa</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/kenya" hreflang="en">Kenya</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/nigeria" hreflang="en">Nigeria</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/engaging-policymakers" hreflang="en">Engaging Policymakers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/around-world" hreflang="en">Around the World</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Fri, 18 May 2018 14:21:28 +0000 Anonymous 58157 at https://reproductiverights.org