Sunday, 3 May 2015

Unsafe Abortions in Kenya

Under Article 26 (4) of the Kenyan constitution, "abortion is not permitted unless, in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law."
Still several abortions are performed regularly in Kenya under unsafe conditions.

Last year, Jackson Namunya Tali, a 41-year-old nurse, was sentenced to death by the high court in Nairobi for murder, after the death of both Christine Atieno and her unborn baby in a botched illegal abortion.

The court heard that Atieno died in Tali’s vehicle as he drove her from a clinic to another hospital for advanced treatment.

“He has killed two people, a foetus and her mother, and the only sentence available in law is the maximum death penalty, which I have handed to him,” said the judge.

In another case, 15 foetuses were seen along a major road with hospital documents from a highly respected Kenyan doctor, Dr John Nyamu. His clinic was raided and he was arrested along with 2 of his nurses. He spent one year in prison in 2004 before subsequent pathology examinations found that the fetuses were still-born fetuses, not aborted.

For Dr Ong'ech John, a health specialist in Nairobi, perforated uteruses and intestines, heart and kidney failures, anaemia requiring blood transfusion as well as renal problems are just a few of the health complications arising from an abortion that goes wrong.

Now many people are asking that abortions be made accessible to all women in Kenya in order to reduce maternal mortality.

If abortions should ever get legalized in Kenya, just maybe, a big maybe that Nigeria will follow suit.

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