Lockdown Sees Spike In Unsafe Abortions In Guruve

RECURRING COVID-19 lockdown measures and a prolonged period outside learning institutions has resulted in increased Early Unintended Pregnancies (EUPs) in young adolescent girls, leading to a record spike in unsafe abortions amongst the 12- to 24-year-old age groups in Guruve, Mashonaland Central. By Michael Gwarisa recently in Guruve In Zimbabwe, abortion or termination of pregnancy is only permissible if the pregnancy poses a risk or threat to the life and health of the mother and child and also if the pregnancy is as a result of rape or incest. However,…

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Access To Safe Abortion Care Is A Health Need

Recently, two bodies of newly born babies were found in a bin in Harare.[1] Due to a lack of accessible contraceptives during COVID-19, 5000 girls were reported to have fallen pregnant in January alone,[2] and sadly, the abandonment of unwanted babies is one of the outcomes. Unsafe abortions are another. The reality is, this could just be a tip of the iceberg of what is happening to women and girls as a result of their inability to access contraceptives. By Edinah Masiyiwa As the COVID-19 epidemic rages on, the health…

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Open Up Space For Adolescents To Access SRHR Services

RECENTLY, I was saddened to read that a dead infant was found during a burst sewer pipe at a primary school in Bulawayo. I imagined the state of hopelessness the parent must have felt to resort to infanticide. And I felt angry about the lack of prioritization of women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), especially during this time of COVID-19 lockdowns, that may have contributed to this horrific outcome. By Edinah Masiyiwa The insufficient attention to women’s and girls’ needs and disruptions in health systems during…

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Zim’s Termination Of Pregnancy Act Anti Women- Women CSOs

ZIMBABWE’S Termination of Pregnancy ACT is not only archaic but takes away women’s body autonomy and power to make decisions about their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), women led Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have said. By Patricia Mashiri According CSOs, the country’s Termination of Pregnancy ACT is not inclusive but dictates circumstances and conditions under which the pregnancy of a woman may be terminated. Ms Ednah Masiyiwa, Executive Director Women Action Group said the Termination of pregnancy Act is non-operational and does not meet the needs of the…

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Every 23 Minutes, A Woman/Girl Dies F Unsafe Abortion- MSF

UNSAFE abortions remain one of the leading causes of maternal deaths the world over, with majority of the deaths being reported in the developing countries, the Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) has warned. By Michael Gwarisa According to the MSF, at least 7 million women are hospitalized every year due to complications from unsafe abortions whole a woman or girl dies after every 23 minutes from an unsafe abortion. Although the past two decades have seen major decreases in most leading causes of maternal deaths worldwide, one glaring exception remains: unsafe…

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Let’s talk about our reality: Are we failing our young people?

THE recent picture of a first year University of Zimbabwe student lying lifeless in a pool of blood, after trying to abort a pregnancy using a coat hanger brings a chill to one’s spine. If she made it to University, surely she should be knowledgeable about pregnancy and how to prevent it? Surely, she should understand enough of her anatomy to know that a coat hanger is unlikely to dislodge a foetus, that what she is doing is damaging to her internal organs. By Patricia Machawira The reality is that…

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Zim Abortion Law Drives Girls Into Early Marriages

ZIMBABWE’S current Termination of Pregnancy Act which criminalises abortion, opens room for uncontrolled early child marriages, a top legal expert has said. By Michael Gwarisa The Termination of Pregnancy Act (ToP) 1977 only permits abortion if the pregnancy poses a threat to the life of the unborn child or the mother or if the pregnancy is as a result of incest or rape. According to the law, termination of pregnancy cannot happen anywhere else besides a designated institution in this case a public hospital and at least two medical practitioners…

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Climate Disasters Expose Pregnant Women To Unimaginable Risks

THE world is experiencing a shift in climatic conditions and with this shift a number of natural disasters are occurring, leaving millions exposed to various unhealthy conditions. By Michael Gwarisa Two months ago, Zimbabwe witnessed what has been termed the world natural disaster in Africa South of the Sahara by climate experts following the devastation and loss of lives that was experienced as a result of Tropical Cyclone Idai. Even though government and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) ramped up efforts to provide the affected victims with basic necessities ranging from food,…

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Condoms In Schools Could Reduce Illegal Abortions

EXPANDING contraceptives coverage to schools and other at risk populations could reduce the number of deaths and complications as a result of illegal abortions, a parliamentarian has said.   By Michael Gwarisa In an interview with HealthTimes on the side-lines of the World Abortion Day celebrations, legislator and former parliamentary committee on health chair, Dr Ruth Labode said contraceptive services were not getting to adolescents and young girls despite the fact that they are the most sexually active and at risk of unwanted pregnancies. “Our biggest problem in Zimbabwe is…

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To Or Not To Legalise Abortion, Zimbabwe’s Legal Dilemma

ABORTION has been a contentious issue in Zimbabwe and the world over, with governments and civil society organisations clashing on numerous platforms over the morality, acceptability and legality of the practice. By Michael Gwarisa The United States government under the current Donald Trump administration does not support abortion, neither does it provide funding for organisations which support abortion. In Zimbabwe, not only is abortion taboo but is in most instances associated with loose morals and first degree murder as it involves the termination of a fetus (life) from its mother’s…

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