EDITORIAL: Closing down Marie Stopes is defeatist

A file photo of activists during a protest against abortions in Kenya.
A file photo of activists during a protest against abortions in Kenya.

The government has threatened to close down Marie Stopes clinics if they are found to be conducting abortions — whether at the request of a patient or as permitted by the law.

This move is defeatist as tens of women each day will continue seeking abortion services, whether Marie Stopes is closed down or not.

We cannot continue burying our heads in the sand while statistics show that at least seven women are dying every day in Kenya from unsafe abortions. The government must facilitate abortion services for women whose pregnancies pose a danger to their lives and health as stipulated in the Constitution.

Targeting Marie Stopes clinics will lead to the mushrooming on unsafe abortion clinics that pose an even greater danger to Kenyan women.

In addition, Marie Stopes clinics offer a range of reproductive health services for both men and women. It would, therefore, be foolhardy to terminate their licences under the guise of offering abortions as this denies many other Kenyans health services.

As the Constitution states, every Kenyan has a right to the highest standards of health and it is the role of the government to ensure that this is made possible.

Quote of the Day: “Little children are still the symbol of the eternal marriage between love and duty.”

George Eliot

The British author was born on November 22, 1819.