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Guinea: Act now to ensure greater support and assistance for survivors of sexual violence

27 September 2022

New report calls on Guinean authorities to improve prevention from rape and care for survivors Authorities must introduce new law on gender-based violence   Over 400 complaints for rape were registered in 2021, most of survivors were minors
Safe abortion course
media center

| 20 September 2022

IPPF launches free online medical abortion course

Training co-created with How To Use Abortion Pill Training endorsed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Training course complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion Course comes as World Health Organisation (WHO) issues new guidelines on abortion care and will help put the WHO guidelines into practice globally Over 25 million unsafe abortions occur each year From 2015 to 2019 in Kenya, there were 2,380,000 pregnancies annually. Of these, 1,450,000 pregnancies were unintended and 551,000 ended in abortion Landmark High Court of Kenya ruling in March 2022 affirms abortion care as a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya Nairobi – 20th September 2022 – International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and HowToUseAbortionPill.org have developed a free online medical abortion training course to equip healthcare workers with the necessary skills to provide care for women seeking medical abortion up to 13 weeks’ gestation. The course is aimed at the full range of providers, including physicians, midwives, pharmacists, medical students and community health workers. The course, which has been endorsed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), is a seven-lesson video series accessible via the link https://elearning.howtouseabortionpill.org. It covers an overview of abortion care; how to support a medical abortion; symptoms, side effects and complications; and aftercare. The training is framed around four principles of care: person-centred care, rights-based care, quality, and privacy and confidentiality. “Abortion care continues to be left off medical training curriculums,” said Mallah Tabot, Lead SRHR Programming at IPPF Africa Region. “This online course will fill a critical gap in the education of many health workers. It has the potential to significantly increase the number of health workers with the skills and knowledge to provide abortion care, especially in low-resource settings, and thereby increase the number of women supported to safely end a pregnancy.” Unsafe abortion remains a serious global threat to women's health and safety, causing an estimated 7 million hospitalizations and up to 13% of all maternal deaths worldwide each year. Medical abortion is a non-invasive method using two pills - mifepristone and misoprostol - or misoprostol alone.  Medical abortion is safe and effective and is recommended by the Word Health Organisation (WHO). Between 2015 and 2019 in Kenya, there were a total of 2,380,000 pregnancies annually. Of these, 1,450,000 pregnancies were unintended and 551,000 ended in abortion. in Nigeria, there were a total of 10,500,000 pregnancies annually with 2,990,000 unintended and 1,430,000 ended in abortion. In both countries, abortion is legal to preserve the pregnant person’s health. However, a majority of abortions are carried out by unqualified practitioners who run unsafe clinics. “Research shows that when women cannot access safe abortion care, they often seek unsafe methods,”  said Rebecca Wilkins, Technical Lead, Abortion at IPPF.  “This training course provides the information and resources necessary for health workers to support women who choose to have a safe abortion with pills in early pregnancy either within or outside a clinical setting.” The course is hosted on a login-based web portal which can be accessed from desktop or mobile and is structured to be an interactive learning experience, complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion. In March this year, WHO issued new guidelines on abortion care.  The updated guidelines contain more than 50 recommendations covering clinical practice, health service delivery, and policy and legal actions including ensuring access to quality medical abortion pills. The new online training course is aligned to the clinical protocols recommended in the WHO guidelines. A landmark ruling by the High Court of Kenya in Malindi this year affirmed the right to abortion as a fundamental right under the Kenyan Constitution.  The ruling in a case filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) in 2020 against government officials involved the arrest of a minor and a clinician. It has set a precedent against arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and health care providers for seeking or offering abortion services. Such arrests and prosecutions are now deemed illegal according to the new ruling. ENDs  For further information, download the media kit HERE or contact: PR Consultant Njeri Wangari              Tel: +254 (0)722353657, e-mail: [email protected] IPPF: Mahmoud Garga                     Tel.   +254 (0) 704626920, e-mail: [email protected]    Catherine Kilfedder                                                         e-mail: [email protected]   ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organizations in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women, in sub-Saharan Africa.  Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent's growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services.  We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, and United Nations bodies, among others, to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa.  Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Safe abortion course
media_center

| 29 November 2022

IPPF launches free online medical abortion course

Training co-created with How To Use Abortion Pill Training endorsed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Training course complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion Course comes as World Health Organisation (WHO) issues new guidelines on abortion care and will help put the WHO guidelines into practice globally Over 25 million unsafe abortions occur each year From 2015 to 2019 in Kenya, there were 2,380,000 pregnancies annually. Of these, 1,450,000 pregnancies were unintended and 551,000 ended in abortion Landmark High Court of Kenya ruling in March 2022 affirms abortion care as a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya Nairobi – 20th September 2022 – International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and HowToUseAbortionPill.org have developed a free online medical abortion training course to equip healthcare workers with the necessary skills to provide care for women seeking medical abortion up to 13 weeks’ gestation. The course is aimed at the full range of providers, including physicians, midwives, pharmacists, medical students and community health workers. The course, which has been endorsed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), is a seven-lesson video series accessible via the link https://elearning.howtouseabortionpill.org. It covers an overview of abortion care; how to support a medical abortion; symptoms, side effects and complications; and aftercare. The training is framed around four principles of care: person-centred care, rights-based care, quality, and privacy and confidentiality. “Abortion care continues to be left off medical training curriculums,” said Mallah Tabot, Lead SRHR Programming at IPPF Africa Region. “This online course will fill a critical gap in the education of many health workers. It has the potential to significantly increase the number of health workers with the skills and knowledge to provide abortion care, especially in low-resource settings, and thereby increase the number of women supported to safely end a pregnancy.” Unsafe abortion remains a serious global threat to women's health and safety, causing an estimated 7 million hospitalizations and up to 13% of all maternal deaths worldwide each year. Medical abortion is a non-invasive method using two pills - mifepristone and misoprostol - or misoprostol alone.  Medical abortion is safe and effective and is recommended by the Word Health Organisation (WHO). Between 2015 and 2019 in Kenya, there were a total of 2,380,000 pregnancies annually. Of these, 1,450,000 pregnancies were unintended and 551,000 ended in abortion. in Nigeria, there were a total of 10,500,000 pregnancies annually with 2,990,000 unintended and 1,430,000 ended in abortion. In both countries, abortion is legal to preserve the pregnant person’s health. However, a majority of abortions are carried out by unqualified practitioners who run unsafe clinics. “Research shows that when women cannot access safe abortion care, they often seek unsafe methods,”  said Rebecca Wilkins, Technical Lead, Abortion at IPPF.  “This training course provides the information and resources necessary for health workers to support women who choose to have a safe abortion with pills in early pregnancy either within or outside a clinical setting.” The course is hosted on a login-based web portal which can be accessed from desktop or mobile and is structured to be an interactive learning experience, complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion. In March this year, WHO issued new guidelines on abortion care.  The updated guidelines contain more than 50 recommendations covering clinical practice, health service delivery, and policy and legal actions including ensuring access to quality medical abortion pills. The new online training course is aligned to the clinical protocols recommended in the WHO guidelines. A landmark ruling by the High Court of Kenya in Malindi this year affirmed the right to abortion as a fundamental right under the Kenyan Constitution.  The ruling in a case filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) in 2020 against government officials involved the arrest of a minor and a clinician. It has set a precedent against arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and health care providers for seeking or offering abortion services. Such arrests and prosecutions are now deemed illegal according to the new ruling. ENDs  For further information, download the media kit HERE or contact: PR Consultant Njeri Wangari              Tel: +254 (0)722353657, e-mail: [email protected] IPPF: Mahmoud Garga                     Tel.   +254 (0) 704626920, e-mail: [email protected]    Catherine Kilfedder                                                         e-mail: [email protected]   ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organizations in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women, in sub-Saharan Africa.  Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent's growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services.  We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, and United Nations bodies, among others, to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa.  Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

IPPF_Isabel Corthier
media center

| 28 March 2022

High Court Judgement in Malindi Protects Women, Girls and Healthcare Providers from Arbitrary Abortion-Related Arrests and Prosecutions

March 26, 2022 (MALINDI) – In a landmark verdict today, the High Court of Malindi has ruled that safe abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers, for seeking or offering such services, is completely illegal. Specifically, the Court ruled that:  Abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers seeking or offering such services is illegal. Protecting access to abortion impacts vital Constitutional values, including dignity, autonomy, equality, and bodily integrity. Criminalizing abortion under Penal Code without Constitutional statutory framework is an impairment to the enjoyment of women’s reproductive right For years, women and girls in Kenya have faced sustained and pervasive discrimination hampering their access to seeking reproductive healthcare services; the 1963 Penal Code criminalizes all abortion care, including those allowed under the Constitution 2010, which guarantees the right to healthcare, including access to reproductive health services. The Constitution only permits safe abortion if in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is at risk/in danger. The court case in question, filed in November 2020, involved PAK, a minor 16 years of age from Kilifi County. PAK experienced complications during pregnancy and immediately sought medical care at a nearby clinic where a trained clinical officer attended to her. Upon examining her, the clinical officer determined that she had lost the pregnancy and proceeded to provide her with essential and life-saving post-abortion care. Policy officers stormed the clinic, in the midst of the treatment, stopping the medical procedure and confiscating PAK’s treatment records. They then proceeded to illegally arrest both PAK and the clinical officer. Both were taken to Ganze Police Patrol Base where PAK was not allowed to access further medical care for the next two days and was forced to sign a statement which was contrary to PAK’s description of the events. The police also forced PAK to undergo another detailed medical examination at Kilifi County Hospital to obtain evidence to prove the alleged offence of abortion. The clinical officer was detained for one week while PAK was remanded to a juvenile remand for more than a month, whilst she and her family sought to secure the cash bail for her release. The Malindi High Court has further directed the Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Kenyan Constitution. Additionally, the Court has confirmed that communication between a patient and the healthcare provider is confidential, which is guaranteed and protected under the Constitution and other enabling laws, save for where the disclosure is consented to by the patient or is in the public interest in line with the limitations as provided for in the Constitution. In its decision, the Court also ruled that PAK was recovering from medical procedure and police did not have the medical qualifications to determine and confirm that she was medically-fit to leave the clinic, regardless of her admission status at the clinic. Additionally, the Court found that PAK’s arrest was inhuman and degrading, and being a minor, she ought not to have been interrogated without legal representation. Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa at Center for Reproductive Rights said, “Today’s victory is for all women, girls, and healthcare providers who have been treated as criminals for seeking and providing abortion care. The court has vindicated our position by affirming that forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or to seek out an unsafe abortion is a gross violation of her rights to privacy and bodily autonomy. Further, the continued restrictive abortion laws inhibit quality improvement possible to protect women with unintended pregnancies.” Nelly Munyasia, Executive Director of Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK), a network of reproductive health providers whose member was the second petitioner in this case, welcomed the court’s decision. “Many qualified reproductive healthcare practitioners continue to be arrested, detained, and prosecuted for providing legal medical care. The court’s decision confirms that prosecution against health providers cannot hold where the prosecution has not established that; the health professional in question was unqualified to conduct the procedure; the life or health of the woman was not in danger or the woman was not in need of emergency treatment,” Ms. Munyasia said. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director from the International Planned Parenthood Federation of whom Reproductive Health Rights Network Kenya is a collaborative partner added: “We are absolutely delighted to hear this news and applaud the High Court of Malindi's ruling confirming that abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers for seeking or offering such services is illegal. We are also very pleased to hear that the Court has directed Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Constitution. This is a victory for women and girls not only in Kenya, but across Africa! Access to quality abortion is essential to guarantee the health and reproductive rights of women and girls everywhere. At IPPF, we are committed to reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods for fear of arrests and harassment. We will continue to supply and support safe and legal abortion services and care for women and girls everywhere.” The petitioners were represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights advocates Martin Onyango, Head of Legal Strategies for Africa, and Prudence Mutiso, Legal Advisor for Africa. Center fact sheet: “The Impact of the Misalignment Between Kenya’s Constitution and the Penal Code on Access to Reproductive Health Care”

IPPF_Isabel Corthier
media_center

| 26 March 2022

High Court Judgement in Malindi Protects Women, Girls and Healthcare Providers from Arbitrary Abortion-Related Arrests and Prosecutions

March 26, 2022 (MALINDI) – In a landmark verdict today, the High Court of Malindi has ruled that safe abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers, for seeking or offering such services, is completely illegal. Specifically, the Court ruled that:  Abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers seeking or offering such services is illegal. Protecting access to abortion impacts vital Constitutional values, including dignity, autonomy, equality, and bodily integrity. Criminalizing abortion under Penal Code without Constitutional statutory framework is an impairment to the enjoyment of women’s reproductive right For years, women and girls in Kenya have faced sustained and pervasive discrimination hampering their access to seeking reproductive healthcare services; the 1963 Penal Code criminalizes all abortion care, including those allowed under the Constitution 2010, which guarantees the right to healthcare, including access to reproductive health services. The Constitution only permits safe abortion if in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is at risk/in danger. The court case in question, filed in November 2020, involved PAK, a minor 16 years of age from Kilifi County. PAK experienced complications during pregnancy and immediately sought medical care at a nearby clinic where a trained clinical officer attended to her. Upon examining her, the clinical officer determined that she had lost the pregnancy and proceeded to provide her with essential and life-saving post-abortion care. Policy officers stormed the clinic, in the midst of the treatment, stopping the medical procedure and confiscating PAK’s treatment records. They then proceeded to illegally arrest both PAK and the clinical officer. Both were taken to Ganze Police Patrol Base where PAK was not allowed to access further medical care for the next two days and was forced to sign a statement which was contrary to PAK’s description of the events. The police also forced PAK to undergo another detailed medical examination at Kilifi County Hospital to obtain evidence to prove the alleged offence of abortion. The clinical officer was detained for one week while PAK was remanded to a juvenile remand for more than a month, whilst she and her family sought to secure the cash bail for her release. The Malindi High Court has further directed the Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Kenyan Constitution. Additionally, the Court has confirmed that communication between a patient and the healthcare provider is confidential, which is guaranteed and protected under the Constitution and other enabling laws, save for where the disclosure is consented to by the patient or is in the public interest in line with the limitations as provided for in the Constitution. In its decision, the Court also ruled that PAK was recovering from medical procedure and police did not have the medical qualifications to determine and confirm that she was medically-fit to leave the clinic, regardless of her admission status at the clinic. Additionally, the Court found that PAK’s arrest was inhuman and degrading, and being a minor, she ought not to have been interrogated without legal representation. Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa at Center for Reproductive Rights said, “Today’s victory is for all women, girls, and healthcare providers who have been treated as criminals for seeking and providing abortion care. The court has vindicated our position by affirming that forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or to seek out an unsafe abortion is a gross violation of her rights to privacy and bodily autonomy. Further, the continued restrictive abortion laws inhibit quality improvement possible to protect women with unintended pregnancies.” Nelly Munyasia, Executive Director of Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK), a network of reproductive health providers whose member was the second petitioner in this case, welcomed the court’s decision. “Many qualified reproductive healthcare practitioners continue to be arrested, detained, and prosecuted for providing legal medical care. The court’s decision confirms that prosecution against health providers cannot hold where the prosecution has not established that; the health professional in question was unqualified to conduct the procedure; the life or health of the woman was not in danger or the woman was not in need of emergency treatment,” Ms. Munyasia said. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director from the International Planned Parenthood Federation of whom Reproductive Health Rights Network Kenya is a collaborative partner added: “We are absolutely delighted to hear this news and applaud the High Court of Malindi's ruling confirming that abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers for seeking or offering such services is illegal. We are also very pleased to hear that the Court has directed Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Constitution. This is a victory for women and girls not only in Kenya, but across Africa! Access to quality abortion is essential to guarantee the health and reproductive rights of women and girls everywhere. At IPPF, we are committed to reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods for fear of arrests and harassment. We will continue to supply and support safe and legal abortion services and care for women and girls everywhere.” The petitioners were represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights advocates Martin Onyango, Head of Legal Strategies for Africa, and Prudence Mutiso, Legal Advisor for Africa. Center fact sheet: “The Impact of the Misalignment Between Kenya’s Constitution and the Penal Code on Access to Reproductive Health Care”

Safe abortion course
media center

| 20 September 2022

IPPF launches free online medical abortion course

Training co-created with How To Use Abortion Pill Training endorsed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Training course complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion Course comes as World Health Organisation (WHO) issues new guidelines on abortion care and will help put the WHO guidelines into practice globally Over 25 million unsafe abortions occur each year From 2015 to 2019 in Kenya, there were 2,380,000 pregnancies annually. Of these, 1,450,000 pregnancies were unintended and 551,000 ended in abortion Landmark High Court of Kenya ruling in March 2022 affirms abortion care as a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya Nairobi – 20th September 2022 – International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and HowToUseAbortionPill.org have developed a free online medical abortion training course to equip healthcare workers with the necessary skills to provide care for women seeking medical abortion up to 13 weeks’ gestation. The course is aimed at the full range of providers, including physicians, midwives, pharmacists, medical students and community health workers. The course, which has been endorsed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), is a seven-lesson video series accessible via the link https://elearning.howtouseabortionpill.org. It covers an overview of abortion care; how to support a medical abortion; symptoms, side effects and complications; and aftercare. The training is framed around four principles of care: person-centred care, rights-based care, quality, and privacy and confidentiality. “Abortion care continues to be left off medical training curriculums,” said Mallah Tabot, Lead SRHR Programming at IPPF Africa Region. “This online course will fill a critical gap in the education of many health workers. It has the potential to significantly increase the number of health workers with the skills and knowledge to provide abortion care, especially in low-resource settings, and thereby increase the number of women supported to safely end a pregnancy.” Unsafe abortion remains a serious global threat to women's health and safety, causing an estimated 7 million hospitalizations and up to 13% of all maternal deaths worldwide each year. Medical abortion is a non-invasive method using two pills - mifepristone and misoprostol - or misoprostol alone.  Medical abortion is safe and effective and is recommended by the Word Health Organisation (WHO). Between 2015 and 2019 in Kenya, there were a total of 2,380,000 pregnancies annually. Of these, 1,450,000 pregnancies were unintended and 551,000 ended in abortion. in Nigeria, there were a total of 10,500,000 pregnancies annually with 2,990,000 unintended and 1,430,000 ended in abortion. In both countries, abortion is legal to preserve the pregnant person’s health. However, a majority of abortions are carried out by unqualified practitioners who run unsafe clinics. “Research shows that when women cannot access safe abortion care, they often seek unsafe methods,”  said Rebecca Wilkins, Technical Lead, Abortion at IPPF.  “This training course provides the information and resources necessary for health workers to support women who choose to have a safe abortion with pills in early pregnancy either within or outside a clinical setting.” The course is hosted on a login-based web portal which can be accessed from desktop or mobile and is structured to be an interactive learning experience, complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion. In March this year, WHO issued new guidelines on abortion care.  The updated guidelines contain more than 50 recommendations covering clinical practice, health service delivery, and policy and legal actions including ensuring access to quality medical abortion pills. The new online training course is aligned to the clinical protocols recommended in the WHO guidelines. A landmark ruling by the High Court of Kenya in Malindi this year affirmed the right to abortion as a fundamental right under the Kenyan Constitution.  The ruling in a case filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) in 2020 against government officials involved the arrest of a minor and a clinician. It has set a precedent against arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and health care providers for seeking or offering abortion services. Such arrests and prosecutions are now deemed illegal according to the new ruling. ENDs  For further information, download the media kit HERE or contact: PR Consultant Njeri Wangari              Tel: +254 (0)722353657, e-mail: [email protected] IPPF: Mahmoud Garga                     Tel.   +254 (0) 704626920, e-mail: [email protected]    Catherine Kilfedder                                                         e-mail: [email protected]   ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organizations in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women, in sub-Saharan Africa.  Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent's growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services.  We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, and United Nations bodies, among others, to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa.  Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Safe abortion course
media_center

| 29 November 2022

IPPF launches free online medical abortion course

Training co-created with How To Use Abortion Pill Training endorsed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Training course complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion Course comes as World Health Organisation (WHO) issues new guidelines on abortion care and will help put the WHO guidelines into practice globally Over 25 million unsafe abortions occur each year From 2015 to 2019 in Kenya, there were 2,380,000 pregnancies annually. Of these, 1,450,000 pregnancies were unintended and 551,000 ended in abortion Landmark High Court of Kenya ruling in March 2022 affirms abortion care as a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya Nairobi – 20th September 2022 – International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and HowToUseAbortionPill.org have developed a free online medical abortion training course to equip healthcare workers with the necessary skills to provide care for women seeking medical abortion up to 13 weeks’ gestation. The course is aimed at the full range of providers, including physicians, midwives, pharmacists, medical students and community health workers. The course, which has been endorsed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), is a seven-lesson video series accessible via the link https://elearning.howtouseabortionpill.org. It covers an overview of abortion care; how to support a medical abortion; symptoms, side effects and complications; and aftercare. The training is framed around four principles of care: person-centred care, rights-based care, quality, and privacy and confidentiality. “Abortion care continues to be left off medical training curriculums,” said Mallah Tabot, Lead SRHR Programming at IPPF Africa Region. “This online course will fill a critical gap in the education of many health workers. It has the potential to significantly increase the number of health workers with the skills and knowledge to provide abortion care, especially in low-resource settings, and thereby increase the number of women supported to safely end a pregnancy.” Unsafe abortion remains a serious global threat to women's health and safety, causing an estimated 7 million hospitalizations and up to 13% of all maternal deaths worldwide each year. Medical abortion is a non-invasive method using two pills - mifepristone and misoprostol - or misoprostol alone.  Medical abortion is safe and effective and is recommended by the Word Health Organisation (WHO). Between 2015 and 2019 in Kenya, there were a total of 2,380,000 pregnancies annually. Of these, 1,450,000 pregnancies were unintended and 551,000 ended in abortion. in Nigeria, there were a total of 10,500,000 pregnancies annually with 2,990,000 unintended and 1,430,000 ended in abortion. In both countries, abortion is legal to preserve the pregnant person’s health. However, a majority of abortions are carried out by unqualified practitioners who run unsafe clinics. “Research shows that when women cannot access safe abortion care, they often seek unsafe methods,”  said Rebecca Wilkins, Technical Lead, Abortion at IPPF.  “This training course provides the information and resources necessary for health workers to support women who choose to have a safe abortion with pills in early pregnancy either within or outside a clinical setting.” The course is hosted on a login-based web portal which can be accessed from desktop or mobile and is structured to be an interactive learning experience, complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion. In March this year, WHO issued new guidelines on abortion care.  The updated guidelines contain more than 50 recommendations covering clinical practice, health service delivery, and policy and legal actions including ensuring access to quality medical abortion pills. The new online training course is aligned to the clinical protocols recommended in the WHO guidelines. A landmark ruling by the High Court of Kenya in Malindi this year affirmed the right to abortion as a fundamental right under the Kenyan Constitution.  The ruling in a case filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) in 2020 against government officials involved the arrest of a minor and a clinician. It has set a precedent against arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and health care providers for seeking or offering abortion services. Such arrests and prosecutions are now deemed illegal according to the new ruling. ENDs  For further information, download the media kit HERE or contact: PR Consultant Njeri Wangari              Tel: +254 (0)722353657, e-mail: [email protected] IPPF: Mahmoud Garga                     Tel.   +254 (0) 704626920, e-mail: [email protected]    Catherine Kilfedder                                                         e-mail: [email protected]   ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organizations in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women, in sub-Saharan Africa.  Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent's growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services.  We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, and United Nations bodies, among others, to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa.  Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

IPPF_Isabel Corthier
media center

| 28 March 2022

High Court Judgement in Malindi Protects Women, Girls and Healthcare Providers from Arbitrary Abortion-Related Arrests and Prosecutions

March 26, 2022 (MALINDI) – In a landmark verdict today, the High Court of Malindi has ruled that safe abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers, for seeking or offering such services, is completely illegal. Specifically, the Court ruled that:  Abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers seeking or offering such services is illegal. Protecting access to abortion impacts vital Constitutional values, including dignity, autonomy, equality, and bodily integrity. Criminalizing abortion under Penal Code without Constitutional statutory framework is an impairment to the enjoyment of women’s reproductive right For years, women and girls in Kenya have faced sustained and pervasive discrimination hampering their access to seeking reproductive healthcare services; the 1963 Penal Code criminalizes all abortion care, including those allowed under the Constitution 2010, which guarantees the right to healthcare, including access to reproductive health services. The Constitution only permits safe abortion if in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is at risk/in danger. The court case in question, filed in November 2020, involved PAK, a minor 16 years of age from Kilifi County. PAK experienced complications during pregnancy and immediately sought medical care at a nearby clinic where a trained clinical officer attended to her. Upon examining her, the clinical officer determined that she had lost the pregnancy and proceeded to provide her with essential and life-saving post-abortion care. Policy officers stormed the clinic, in the midst of the treatment, stopping the medical procedure and confiscating PAK’s treatment records. They then proceeded to illegally arrest both PAK and the clinical officer. Both were taken to Ganze Police Patrol Base where PAK was not allowed to access further medical care for the next two days and was forced to sign a statement which was contrary to PAK’s description of the events. The police also forced PAK to undergo another detailed medical examination at Kilifi County Hospital to obtain evidence to prove the alleged offence of abortion. The clinical officer was detained for one week while PAK was remanded to a juvenile remand for more than a month, whilst she and her family sought to secure the cash bail for her release. The Malindi High Court has further directed the Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Kenyan Constitution. Additionally, the Court has confirmed that communication between a patient and the healthcare provider is confidential, which is guaranteed and protected under the Constitution and other enabling laws, save for where the disclosure is consented to by the patient or is in the public interest in line with the limitations as provided for in the Constitution. In its decision, the Court also ruled that PAK was recovering from medical procedure and police did not have the medical qualifications to determine and confirm that she was medically-fit to leave the clinic, regardless of her admission status at the clinic. Additionally, the Court found that PAK’s arrest was inhuman and degrading, and being a minor, she ought not to have been interrogated without legal representation. Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa at Center for Reproductive Rights said, “Today’s victory is for all women, girls, and healthcare providers who have been treated as criminals for seeking and providing abortion care. The court has vindicated our position by affirming that forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or to seek out an unsafe abortion is a gross violation of her rights to privacy and bodily autonomy. Further, the continued restrictive abortion laws inhibit quality improvement possible to protect women with unintended pregnancies.” Nelly Munyasia, Executive Director of Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK), a network of reproductive health providers whose member was the second petitioner in this case, welcomed the court’s decision. “Many qualified reproductive healthcare practitioners continue to be arrested, detained, and prosecuted for providing legal medical care. The court’s decision confirms that prosecution against health providers cannot hold where the prosecution has not established that; the health professional in question was unqualified to conduct the procedure; the life or health of the woman was not in danger or the woman was not in need of emergency treatment,” Ms. Munyasia said. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director from the International Planned Parenthood Federation of whom Reproductive Health Rights Network Kenya is a collaborative partner added: “We are absolutely delighted to hear this news and applaud the High Court of Malindi's ruling confirming that abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers for seeking or offering such services is illegal. We are also very pleased to hear that the Court has directed Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Constitution. This is a victory for women and girls not only in Kenya, but across Africa! Access to quality abortion is essential to guarantee the health and reproductive rights of women and girls everywhere. At IPPF, we are committed to reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods for fear of arrests and harassment. We will continue to supply and support safe and legal abortion services and care for women and girls everywhere.” The petitioners were represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights advocates Martin Onyango, Head of Legal Strategies for Africa, and Prudence Mutiso, Legal Advisor for Africa. Center fact sheet: “The Impact of the Misalignment Between Kenya’s Constitution and the Penal Code on Access to Reproductive Health Care”

IPPF_Isabel Corthier
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| 26 March 2022

High Court Judgement in Malindi Protects Women, Girls and Healthcare Providers from Arbitrary Abortion-Related Arrests and Prosecutions

March 26, 2022 (MALINDI) – In a landmark verdict today, the High Court of Malindi has ruled that safe abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers, for seeking or offering such services, is completely illegal. Specifically, the Court ruled that:  Abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers seeking or offering such services is illegal. Protecting access to abortion impacts vital Constitutional values, including dignity, autonomy, equality, and bodily integrity. Criminalizing abortion under Penal Code without Constitutional statutory framework is an impairment to the enjoyment of women’s reproductive right For years, women and girls in Kenya have faced sustained and pervasive discrimination hampering their access to seeking reproductive healthcare services; the 1963 Penal Code criminalizes all abortion care, including those allowed under the Constitution 2010, which guarantees the right to healthcare, including access to reproductive health services. The Constitution only permits safe abortion if in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is at risk/in danger. The court case in question, filed in November 2020, involved PAK, a minor 16 years of age from Kilifi County. PAK experienced complications during pregnancy and immediately sought medical care at a nearby clinic where a trained clinical officer attended to her. Upon examining her, the clinical officer determined that she had lost the pregnancy and proceeded to provide her with essential and life-saving post-abortion care. Policy officers stormed the clinic, in the midst of the treatment, stopping the medical procedure and confiscating PAK’s treatment records. They then proceeded to illegally arrest both PAK and the clinical officer. Both were taken to Ganze Police Patrol Base where PAK was not allowed to access further medical care for the next two days and was forced to sign a statement which was contrary to PAK’s description of the events. The police also forced PAK to undergo another detailed medical examination at Kilifi County Hospital to obtain evidence to prove the alleged offence of abortion. The clinical officer was detained for one week while PAK was remanded to a juvenile remand for more than a month, whilst she and her family sought to secure the cash bail for her release. The Malindi High Court has further directed the Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Kenyan Constitution. Additionally, the Court has confirmed that communication between a patient and the healthcare provider is confidential, which is guaranteed and protected under the Constitution and other enabling laws, save for where the disclosure is consented to by the patient or is in the public interest in line with the limitations as provided for in the Constitution. In its decision, the Court also ruled that PAK was recovering from medical procedure and police did not have the medical qualifications to determine and confirm that she was medically-fit to leave the clinic, regardless of her admission status at the clinic. Additionally, the Court found that PAK’s arrest was inhuman and degrading, and being a minor, she ought not to have been interrogated without legal representation. Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa at Center for Reproductive Rights said, “Today’s victory is for all women, girls, and healthcare providers who have been treated as criminals for seeking and providing abortion care. The court has vindicated our position by affirming that forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or to seek out an unsafe abortion is a gross violation of her rights to privacy and bodily autonomy. Further, the continued restrictive abortion laws inhibit quality improvement possible to protect women with unintended pregnancies.” Nelly Munyasia, Executive Director of Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK), a network of reproductive health providers whose member was the second petitioner in this case, welcomed the court’s decision. “Many qualified reproductive healthcare practitioners continue to be arrested, detained, and prosecuted for providing legal medical care. The court’s decision confirms that prosecution against health providers cannot hold where the prosecution has not established that; the health professional in question was unqualified to conduct the procedure; the life or health of the woman was not in danger or the woman was not in need of emergency treatment,” Ms. Munyasia said. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director from the International Planned Parenthood Federation of whom Reproductive Health Rights Network Kenya is a collaborative partner added: “We are absolutely delighted to hear this news and applaud the High Court of Malindi's ruling confirming that abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers for seeking or offering such services is illegal. We are also very pleased to hear that the Court has directed Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Constitution. This is a victory for women and girls not only in Kenya, but across Africa! Access to quality abortion is essential to guarantee the health and reproductive rights of women and girls everywhere. At IPPF, we are committed to reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods for fear of arrests and harassment. We will continue to supply and support safe and legal abortion services and care for women and girls everywhere.” The petitioners were represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights advocates Martin Onyango, Head of Legal Strategies for Africa, and Prudence Mutiso, Legal Advisor for Africa. Center fact sheet: “The Impact of the Misalignment Between Kenya’s Constitution and the Penal Code on Access to Reproductive Health Care”