Over 53,000 abortion cases recorded at public health centres in 2017

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Figures from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) reveal that 53,114 abortions were supervised in public health facilities in the country in 2017.

Unsafe abortion also recorded 13,918 in the same period as compared to 15,325 unsafe abortion cases in 2016, Mr Raphael Godlove Athena, the Chief Executive Officer of Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF), a health-inclined non-governmental organisation, has said.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Sunyani in commemoration of the 2018 Safe Abortion Day, Mr Ahenu said the provision of safe and legal abortion remains essential to achieving goals three and seven of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of access to sexual and reproductive health.

He said there is the need for government to commit more resources-financial and logistics to provide comprehensive sexual education-family planning counselling, access to safe abortion and contraceptives.

The International Safe Abortion Day, which falls on September 28, every year, was instituted by the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) for action towards decriminalisation of abortion.

Mr Ahenu expressed regret that unreported cases of unsafe abortion were killing many women in the country due to the laws prohibiting abortion.

“Many desiring women and girls cannot easily access effective contraceptives and safe abortion services as well as family planning services. This is affecting them seriously as most of them prepare and apply concoctions to terminate unintended pregnancies”, he said.

Globally, Mr Ahenu said, 25 million unsafe abortion cases occur every year, according to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

He said the Global Gag Rule Policy of the United States remained the major contributory factor.

The Policy denies US funding of family planning and population assistance programmes.

He said his NGO was determined to use all available resources to intensify advocacy campaign on safe abortion and easy access to contraceptives to help reduce maternal mortality.

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