Number of abortions spike in Kenya as Marie Stopes funding is cut

An estimated 36,000 women went without family planning last year.

Thousands of women in Kenya have been affected by the fund cuts and have been left without access to affordable contraceptives forcing many to resort to risky, backstreet abortions.

Devastation

According to an in-depth report by CNN, when one Kibera resident Dija was informed by Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK) that it no longer had funds to provide her with free contraception she said she was devastated.

The three-month injectable contraceptives she had previously received for free would now cost her $4 (Ksh.400).

Dija told CNN that she had considered getting injections from a local pharmacy, where they sell for about $2 (Ksh.200) to $3(Ksh.300).

However, she claimed they’re often expired, or unsafe, and she couldn’t afford them anyway.

Injectables are the most commonly used form of contraception for women in Africa. Invisible to partners, they reduce the risk of backlash and are easy to use.

Kibera

Without access to contraception, Dija became pregnant with her third child last October.

She went to a backstreet clinic in Kibera and got abortion pills illegally.

To pay for the pills, which cost about $10(Ksh.1000), Dija had to dip into savings she had made from her work at a womens group in the slum.

“I couldn’t give birth because my husband is not supporting or helping me, so I decided to terminate the pregnancy. I thought that was the best option,” she said.

Wilson Bunde, who works with FHOK, said women like Dija, who were coming to the Kibera clinic for free contraceptives, are returning to be treated for botched abortions instead.

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