Shock of 500,000 Abortions Procured in Kenya Last Year

October 16, 2013

The People – Online

August 22, 2013

Despite abortion being banned in the new Constitution, almost 500,000 Kenyans pro- cured unsafe abortions last year alone, according to grim findings contained in a report done by the Government and an NGO. Contrary to common belief, that single women lead in procuring abortions, Kenyans will be shocked to learn that married women or those in long term relationships represent a majority of those treated for abortion complications, the figure standing at 64 percent.

The number translates into a high national abortion rate of 48 per 1,000 women of the reproductive ages of between 15 and 49 years. Virtually all the abortions were conducted in backstreet clinics, in major hospitals disguised as other treatment or in other unsafe procedures, most of which had resulted from unintended pregnancies.

The report, conducted by the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) and Ministry of Health revealed that nearly 120,000 women received care for complications resulting from unsafe abortions in health facilities last year, shedding light on the serious problem that is unsafe pregnancy termination. Similarly, the report showed 70 percent of women seeking healthcare as a result of unsafe abortion procedures reported they had not used any form of contraception prior to becoming pregnant, an indication of lack of serious family planning access and education centres.

By regions, Rift Valley Province recorded the highest number of cases of induced abortions at health facilities, standing at 38,687. This was closely followed by Nyanza and Western Provinces combined, with 36,842 cases, while Central and Nairobi combined recorded 20,676 cases. Coast and North Eastern combined had 16,649 cases while Eastern recorded the lowest cases at 7,057.

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