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Health News of Monday, 3 October 2016

Source: Pat Aboagyewaa

Make safe abortion accessible - CEO of Global Media Foundation

The Founder/CEO of Global Media Foundation, Raphael Godlove Ahenu has called on world leaders to make safe abortion accessible and available to every woman who requests for it, thereby eliminating unsafe abortion.

According to him, research has shown how high the costs are to the public health systems for treating complications of unsafe abortion, which would disappear if women were providing safe abortions services.

The CEO who was speaking at a public forum in Sunyani to commemorate this year's Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion is demanding universal access to safe abortion and contraceptive services for all women to help save them from dying from unsafe abortion.

He said according to the World Health Organization (WHO), unsafe abortion continues to be a public health crisis and one of the largest contributors of maternal mortality and morbidity in Africa, accounting for up to 30% of maternal deaths in many sub-Saharan countries.

The WHO further estimates that over 6 million unsafe abortions occur in Africa, resulting in 29,000 deaths and countless serious injuries and disabilities every year for African women and girls under the age 25.

Mr. Ahenu observed that Criminal laws on abortion are discriminatorily enforced and suspiciously impact the most vulnerable women and girls.

He noted that women who fear prosecution for unsafe abortions often delay or fail to seek treatment at public hospitals or clinics, with adverse effects to their health and lives.

The CEO said criminalizing abortion violates many basic human rights, including the right to: life, liberty, security, health, and freedom from torture. Criminal abortion laws discriminate on the basis of sex—they penalize a health service only women need.

He said his organisation with support from Safe Abortion Action Fund is advocating for young people access to safe abortions and contraceptive services in Ghana to help reduce unsafe abortion.