In a session with IPAS, CRR, and FIGO alongside other human rights advocates and health workers, the MAMA Network was invited to speak with UN treaty bodies and address existing barriers in accessing self Managed Abortions. Jedidah Maina who represented the MAMA Network asked that UN Experts urge member states to completely decriminalize all abortions.
As MAMA, we believe and understand that abortion with pills creates a universal opportunity for safe abortion and that access to abortion with pills also enforces several human rights.
‘There continues to be cultural taboos that prevent open dialogue in homes and in school and sometimes our laws and policies do not mirror the lived realities of women/girls… the law criminalizes self-care/abortion management… We [Mama network] increase access to medical abortion as a safe, effective medical procedure outside a clinical setting… we think this is a revolution, and women have this in their hand – it has the potential to make so many abortions in our continent safe and that States need to adapt their laws to reflect this lived reality of people who have abortions.’ Jedidah Maina (MAMA Network coordinator)
The Take away from the discussion tasks UN Experts to raise in-depth conversations with governments to assess their progress on ensuring safe abortion. These questions range from the legality of abortion in specific countries, the availability of misoprostol and mifepristone which are essential medicines in reproductive health and clarifications on regulations surrounding telemedicine.
The MAMA Network has established reproductive health and safe abortion hotlines / helplines in 13 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. 97% of unsafe abortions occur in Sub-saharan Africa and the risk of dying from an unsafe abortion is highest in the region. Our helplines operate 24//7 to help people who need information, guidance and support.