Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Kenya in court after botched abortion injures raped 15-year-old

29 June 2015, 21:43

Nairobi - The mother of a 15-year-old rape survivor, who needs a kidney transplant following a botched backstreet abortion, filed a case against Kenya's government on Monday for denying women and girls safe access to terminations.

The girl, who said she became pregnant when she was raped by an older man, started vomiting and bleeding heavily after an unsafe abortion.

Rape survivors have difficulty accessing safe abortions in Kenya, despite being allowed to under the ministry of health's guidelines on managing sexual violence, the petition said.

Kenya has rolled back its limited access to abortion over the last couple of years, although the 2010 constitution permits terminations only in emergencies or when a woman's life or health is at risk.

Also read: We don't promote abortion: UNFPA Boss

"The Kenyan government is allowing thousands of women in Kenya to needlessly die or suffer severe complications every year due to unsafe abortion, and it must be held accountable," Evelyne Opondo, regional director for Africa for the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) advocacy group, which is representing the petitioners, said in a statement.

The four petitioners in the case are the girl's mother, the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya and two women's rights advocates.

Abortion is a hotly contested issue in Kenya and across Africa, where conservative religious beliefs hold sway.

Unsafe abortions, sometimes carried out by inserting knitting needles into the cervix or drinking bleach, account for some 35 percent of maternal deaths in Kenya, versus the global average of 13 percent.

At least 2,600 Kenyan women die in public hospitals each year after having botched abortions elsewhere, according to a study by Ipas Africa Alliance lobby group, Kenya's ministry of health and the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya. Many more die at home without seeking medical care.

There is "great confusion" as to when abortions can be performed legally, CRR said.

Rich women can easily access safe abortions in private facilities, but the poor and uneducated risk their lives trying to expel the foetus themselves or with backstreet quacks, believing that they cannot legally get an abortion.

The government published safe abortion guidelines for medics for the first time in 2012 but rescinded them in 2013. The health ministry in 2014 banned government healthcare providers from attending training on safe abortion.

Police harassment of patients and medics increased following a nurse's 2014 sentencing to death for murder after a woman seeking post-abortion care died in his car, rights groups said.

The petitioners are calling on the government to restore safe abortion training and introduce guidelines clarifying when legal abortion can be provided.

The teenage girl has dropped out of school and requires regular kidney dialysis, which she cannot afford, according to an online petition set up to lobby Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to provide her with medical care.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...