Safe abortion case puts Health ministry on the spot
The Ministry of Health has said it is in the process of getting new guidelines on safe abortion.
According to Dr. Joel Gondi, Head of the Reproductive and Maternal Health Service Union, the government’s primary focus is to preserve life and reduce maternal morbidity.
He however assured expectant women that they are not under any risk despite the fact that the guidelines were withdrawn and have not been replaced.
“Before the guidelines were withdrawn medical practitioners offered safe abortion, therefore there’s no gap,” he said.
The five-judge bench presided by Justice Aggrey Muchelule was told that the ministry did not consult stakeholders when they withdrew the guidelines on safe abortion.
They include the Kenya Christian Medical and Dental Association, Kenya Christian Health Association of Kenya and the Kenya Association of Muslim Medical Practitioners.
In the case, Fida Kenya and the Centre for Reproductive Rights are challenging the decision taken by the ministry saying it’s a violation of women rights.
FIDA argues that the move bars health workers from accessing medical information through training; developing life-saving skills; abortion care and providing patients with accurate information.
They further argue that the affected women are forced to seek abortion care from quacks and face serious risks of damage to their health and others lead to death.
The lobby groups insist that it is important that the Ministry advises when health workers should provide safe and legal abortion.
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