Abortion has been a sensitive and divisive topic in today’s society. In Kenya for example, prolife and prochoice campaigners keep fighting, the first group arguing for the protection of the unborn foetus and the latter group advocating for the autonomy of pregnant women. Abortion has also received a lot of criticism from the religious groups.
What is abortion?
Abortion is the removal of an embryo or foetus from the mother before it can independently survive usually, less than 28 weeks
Abortion can either be characterized as;
Safe or unsafe; whereby unsafe abortion is one carried out by a person lacking the necessary skill or in an environment that does not conform to minimum medical standards or both.
Legal or illegal abortion. This depends on the law provisions about abortion in concerned states.
What is the Kenyan law on abortion?
According to the new constitution (2010) Article 26 (4), abortion is not permitted unless, in the opinion of a trained health professional*, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of a mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law.
Reproductive Health Act, 2014 section 20 provides that such an abortion can occur only with consent from the pregnant woman or parents or guardians if the woman is a minor or mentally unstable
So can I have an abortion?
If you want to have an abortion, it is highly important that it is carried out by certified professionals with required qualifications. Access to safe and affordable abortion, post-abortion services, and maternal health services can be obtained through various NGOs such as Marie Stopes.
Abortion carried out by unqualified personnel in unsuitable environmental setups can have great risk of death arising from excessive blood loss, infection and retained debris. Other consequences include possibility of complications in subsequent pregnancies, psychological disturbance among others.
Can it be safe to perform an abortion yourself?
It is very dangerous to perform abortion on yourself or on others. There is great risk of death arising from excessive blood loss, infection and retained debris. Other consequences include possibility of complications in subsequent pregnancies and psychological disturbance among others. Performing abortions is safe when performed by qualified professionals only.
Can ingesting jik (disinfectant), high amounts of tea, soap, or Omo cause an abortion?
Ingestion of jik, high amounts of tea, soap or Omo can not cause abortion. Do not ingest any type of detergents, soaps or disinfectants – it is damaging for your health and will not cause abortion. Abortion is only safe when performed by professionals.