Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Confronting the Issue of Unsafe Abortion

London, Oct. 22, 2007 (NAN): Every year, unsafe abortion kills more than 66,000 women worldwide and maims millions more, the latest statistics show that figure has remained virtually unchanged over the last decade.

The medical journal The Lancet which called it one of the most neglected public health issues of our time, also said that in Africa the statistics have even increased.

What actions can those in power take to stop these deaths? This will form part of the talks at the Global Confrence on Safe Abortion holding in London from Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who is covering the conference interviewed some participants.

Mrs Maria Meva, a female activist and member of `Catholics Advocate for Choice' from Mexico who spoke with NAN said that those in power should look beyond religious and cultural sentiments and look at the maternal mortality rate in their countries.

She said: ``Mexico just de-criminalised abortion after several years of struggle and between April and now, maternal mortality has dropped trmendously in the city, where it is allowed.''

She said also the U.S restrictions have created a climate in which health care providers in developing countries cannot provide safe abortion care without jeopardising their US funding.

The Ipas co-ordinator of the Advocacy meeeting which took place in London today, Charlotte Horde told NAN that the few countries where the abortion laws had changed, maternal deaths had dropped significantly.

``Conversely, the new blanket abortion ban in Nicaragua pushed through by conservative church leaders has led to increased maternal death,'' said Christine

Gunzalose, a medical doctor and the Nicaraguan representative at the adocacy meeting.

``These deaths are an outrage and completely preventable,'' she added.

The conference which starts tomorrow is expected to have speakers Like Moji Makanjuola of Nigeria Television Authority presenting a paper on Media partnership and other speakers from various countries including Kenya. (NAN)

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