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As we Mark Katiba Day, Government should do more to Eliminate Unsafe Abortion and Human rights Violations

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Thirteen years on since the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, more needs to be done to ensure we safeguard the rights of young people on access to Sexual reproductive health and rights, safe and legal abortion and general human rights aspects as enshrined within our Constitution.

13 years after the country adopted the new progressive constitution, Implementation of Articles touching on Health, Sexual reproductive health and rights, human rights, GBV and Gender equity have been on a slow mode owing to misinformation, anti – rights groups, lack of implementation of court decisions as well as heavy religious and cultural reasons that continues to slow down the progress of access, provision and uptake of very fundamental information, services for the adolescents, young people in all their diversities.

MP George Peter Kaluma continues to promote his Anti – LGBTQ+ bill that will see to it that access to information including services to some groups of people including adolescents is banned. As we continue to burry our heads in the sand, The National Syndemic Diseases Control Council, formerly NACC Kenya, days that in every week 99 adolescents and young people are infected with HIV. Adolescents and Teenage Pregnancies continue to shoot up. Every Kenyan needs access to information held by the state. The Right to equal protection, freedom and non-discrimination for all Kenyans in Article 27 is assaulted every time a queer Kenyan is attacked

Access to accurate and age-appropriate Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights information, Kenya is a state party to various international and regional human instruments that guarantee the right to sexual reproductive health services and information. Article 35 (1-3) of the Kenyan Constitution, 2010 states that (1) Every citizen has the right of access to (a) information held by the state: and (b) information held by another person required for the exercise or protection of any right or fundamental freedom. This therefore, emphasizes on the right to access accurate, timely age-appropriate sexual reproductive health rights information to increase knowledge success among adolescent girls and young women. Comprehensive Sex and Sexuality education is important, it supports young people to make informed decisions on their social and health lives at present and even in the future.

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Unsafe Abortion remains one of the leading causes of maternal mortality and mobility in the country. We therefore can not talk of beyond zero maternal mortality unless we focus on implementing Article 26 (4). Article 26 (4) provides that Abortion is permitted if, in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment or the life or health of the mother is in danger, of if permitted by any other written law. The government is at fault in dragging its feet in implementing this section of the law on the matter which led to more women procuring unsafe abortions. When we fail to implement article 26 (4) of the Constitution we are actually condemning poor women and girls to quacks and to DEATH by unsafe abortion.  On Abortion, the Parliament and the Ministry of Health should fast track the enactment of legislation that will provide clear standards and guidelines on abortion as a sign of commitment to reduce unsafe abortion. If we continue to do nothing we will continue to loose approximately 7 young girls and women every day in the next 10 years. These are preventable deaths. We are refusing to take action.

As we mark the 13th Anniversary of the 2010 Constitution, Katiba Day, If I were to rate the government, I would give them a minus 5, because there is no value when women’s lives are lost. The government must do more to implement the Bill of Rights in order to ensure no woman dies because of unsafe abortion. This further includes giving life to the many clauses that support the provision, access and uptake that still require policies and guidelines to be operationalized. Through the line ministries like Health, gender and public services, enacting and reinstating dormant laws, policies and guidelines to ensure the realization of the fundamental freedoms promised in the constitution.

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Alvin Mwangi

Youth

Twitter: @alvinmwangi254

Nairobi, Kenya


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