Conservatives Continue Global Fight Against Abortion, Contraception, & Reality
“Sluts, keep yer legs closed!” hasn’t been a viable public health solution for the last several thousand years, but if we pray real hard, maybe it someday will be. Until mass abstinence is feasible or permanent pregnancy is desired, sustainable, or safe, though, the best options women have to control their reproductive health are contraception and abortion. And, in at least one African country, they’re getting it… no thanks to American conservatives who fought against Kenyan women’s access to safe abortion every step of the way.
One might think that it’s no business of, say, a white male politician who lives in a New Jersey McMansion to tell an African woman that she must remain pregnant if she doesn’t want to be, but for the last several years, anti-abortion rights conservatives have made it their business to occupy not only the uteruses of American women, but the uteruses of women around the world. It’s a small, small uterus, after all.
Here’s how the battle for abortion rights went down in Kenya, according to Irin Carmon, writing for Salon. Prior to 2010, Kenya required women who wanted to have an abortion to get written approval from three doctors, one of whom had to be a psychiatrist. Because Kenya isn’t exactly psychiatrist-dense, the procedure was largely unavailable to women who wanted or needed the procedure. As a result, Kenyan women often sought illegal back alley abortions, which often did not go well — according to Carmon, approximately 20,000 Kenyan women are treated every year for illegal abortion-related complications, and 30 to 40 percent of maternity-related death is caused by unsafe abortion. But just remaining pregnant wasn’t an attractive alternative, either. In Kenya, the maternal mortality rate is 488 per 100,000 live births (in the US, it’s under 7 deaths per 100,000 live births).