Statistically speaking, one in three women has had an abortion in their lifetime. Even though abortion is common around the world, it is highly stigmatised. Abortion stigma, discrimination and shame silence women, safe abortion providers and anyone associated with abortion. It drives women to seek unsafe abortion methods putting their lives and health at risk. It makes people think abortion is not normal and those who procure or provide abortion services are murderers and committing a crime.
In Kenya, abortion is highly stigmatised because of legal restrictions, attributing personhood to the foetus. It violates 'feminine ideals of womanhood; it Is viewed as dirty or unhealthy. Anti-abortion forces have found stigma a powerful tool.
We need to start creating safe spaces for women to speak out about their abortion experiences freely. We need to support and respect women in the choices they make. Stigma may exist, but we can end it for good through creating awareness to the public that safe abortion is normal and a human right.