Mashonaland Central Correspondent
THERE is need to broaden circumstances under which abortion is permitted and to ensure the availability of safe, legal abortion services, as well as post-abortion care to reduce clandestine and unsafe procedures.
This was said by a non-governmental organisation, Right Here Right Now, in Bindura last week. Right Here Right Now, which is part of a consortium of NGOs that include Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Real Open Opportunities Trust Support and Katswe Sisterhood, revealed that Zimbabwe had one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world, estimated at 651 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births in contrast to a worldwide trend of declines.
The organisation said maternal mortality had increased in the country over the past 25 years. This came out at a community dialogue on the termination of pregnancies organised by Right Here Right Now held at Tendai Hall in Bindura, where members of the National Assembly from three portfolio committees —Women’s Affairs and SMEs, Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Health and Child Care — as well as representatives from local universities, youths, Government departments and members of the community were invited to participate.
“We recommend that authorities broaden the circumstances under which abortion is legally permitted and educate health care professionals and the public about legal provision in order to reduce the number of clandestine and unsafe procedures,” said RHRN .
“We also want to ensure the availability of safe, legal abortions services and post- abortion care in order to reduce ill health and deaths from unsafe abortions. Unsafe abortions can result in severe complications as well as high social and economic costs to women, their families and the health care system. Zimbabwe has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world, estimated at 651 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births in contrast to a worldwide trend of declines.”