From the September-October 2015 issue of News & Letters
In June, the mother of a 15-year-old rape survivor filed a case against Kenya’s government for denying the girl access to an abortion. The girl developed an infection after resorting to an unsafe abortion and now needs a kidney transplant. The mother’s petition states that, although abortions are legal for rape or to save the woman’s life or health, women have difficulty getting them and the government prevented healthcare providers from receiving training in safe abortions.
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In June, Inkosi Kachindamoto, a Malawian traditional leader, annulled the child marriages of 175 girls and 155 boys. She ordered the children to school and fired the village leaders who had performed the marriages. She is putting into practice Malawi’s recent ban on marrying persons under 18 in a country where half the girls are wed before that age, and one in eight before age 15.
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In previous years, Women on Waves, a Dutch non-profit organization, sailed to countries where abortion is illegal to perform safe, legal abortions on their boat. Currently, they provide the medical abortion pills Mifepristone and Misoprostol and reproductive health information through the website of their sister organization Women on Web. WoW has helped organizations open hotlines to give information on accessing abortion in Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Indonesia, Pakistan, Venezuela, Peru, Kenya, Thailand and Morocco. In July, for the first time, Women on Waves sent abortion pills in a drone from Germany to women in Poland.