We may be two days into 2019 but we cannot forget a number of 2018 cases which stood out having been filed in court which caught the eye of the public and had been a trending topic on all social media platforms.
The recent ban of abortion at the Maries Stopes Clinics countrywide drew mixed reactions on social media with some supporting the move and the other half condemning the decision.
A reproductive health organization then moved to court in a bid to lift the orders issued by the board arguing that KMPDU and the KFCB undermine women’s and girls’ access to reproductive health services.
The lobby group argued that the 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.
It was also their argument that it is 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.
“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.” They argued.
The center is urging the High Court to protect women’s health and lives by restoring safe abortion trainings. It also wants the Ministry of Health to introduce standards and guidelines that appropriately clarify when legal abortion can be provided.
According to research, unsafe abortion accounts for a quarter of maternal deaths in Kenya and that’s the reason why the lobby group wants the court to lift the orders.
In the Kenyan law, abortion is only allowed if in the opinion of a medical provider, a woman’s life or health is at risk, or in emergency situations.
The Lobby group says that estimated 464,690 women got an abortion in Kenya in 2012 and nearly 120,000 women were admitted to public health facilities that year for severe complications resulting from unsafe abortions.
The case is still pending in court and the court is expected to rule whether Marie stops will resume operations or not.