African Leaders Call for Legalized, Safe Abortion Care

This week leaders from ten African nations called for legislation to end unsafe abortion during a conference in Kenya, which addressed the application of international and regional human rights agreements to reduce the maternal mortality rate in Africa.

According to Kenyan Vice-President Moody Awori, 100 women die daily from unsafe abortion in Africa, and of the 19 million women who undergo unsafe abortion yearly, 4.2 million are in Africa. Awori said urgent solutions were needed to end unsafe abortion.

A protocol that authorizes legal abortions in cases of rape, incest, or to protect the life or health of the woman has been ratified by 21 African countries including Tanzania and Rwanda. Kenya and Uganda have signed, but not ratified the protocol on women’s rights in Africa, however Awori said in a speech that ratification was “high on Kenya’s agenda.”

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