NEGLECTED

Abortion stigma denies survivors speedy treatment

Medical staff fear in the event that the woman succumbs to illness, the health practitioners will be arrested

In Summary

• Women who have tried to get an abortion are not given enough attention in health facilities. 

• Financial constraints may lead them to be locked up at facilities for not clearing bills. 

The post abortion care pocket guide approved by the Ministry of Health
DELAYED ATTENTION: The post abortion care pocket guide approved by the Ministry of Health
Image: COURTESY

Cultures that do not allow pregnancy before marriage and fear by health workers to attend to survivors of unsafe abortion cause a delay in providing post-abortion care hence increasing abortion-related deaths.

At the facilities, medical personnel will not attend to women who had attempted procuring abortion as they fear that in the event that the woman succumbs to illness, the health practitioners will be arrested.

Survivors of attempted abortion especially those with severe complications experience neglect between the time of procuring an abortion and seeking treatment. In both public and private facilities, these women will be forced to lie on the dirty floor, be branded murderous, experience delays or even be denied treatment.

 

Financial constraints may lead to the survivors of abortion being locked up in the health facilities due to inability to pay hospital bills. Their identification cards are forcefully taken by the health administration and are forced to do manual jobs within the facilities to pay for off their debt. Not forgetting that the women are just recovering from an abortion, being held up in the facilities and being compelled to work further worsens their health.

Forceful acquisition of identification cards of people who cannot treatment is also a violation of the Constitution. To reduce deaths and diseases associated with unsafe abortion, it is necessary we address termination of pregnancy within the context of the Constitution that explains the situations in which it is permitted.

Let us provide health workers with skills for post-abortion care. We must increase conversations on issues of sexuality and prevention of unintended pregnancies and allow sexuality education to guide learners.

Naya Kenya