Changing Africa’s abortion laws

Antenatal in sierra-leone
Student midwife checking on a patient at the School of Midwifery at Makeni Regional Hospital, Bombali District, Sierra Leone. This week, Africa Science Focus takes a closer look at how women in Sub-Saharan Africa access abortions. Copyright: Abbie Trayler-Smith/H6 Partners, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

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Episode Two

This week, a closer look at how women in Sub-Saharan Africa access abortions.

Malawi’s maternal mortality rate remains one of the highest in the world, with complications from unsafe abortion estimated to account for up to 18 per cent of maternal deaths.

“This current law now is killing people, it’s killing women, it’s killing girls, because it’s not safe, it’s not accommodative,” a woman who was unable to access a legal abortion tells Africa Science Focus.

Meanwhile, Malawi’s neighbour, Zambia, allows terminations of pregnancies on socio-economic grounds. But even with clearer legislation, Zambia still faces a high maternal mortality rate.

Also, send us your science questions and we’ll put them to the experts — message WhatsApp +254799042513.

Africa Science Focus, with Selly Amutabi.

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This programme was funded by the European Journalism Centre, through the European Development Journalism Grants programme, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation