Where can I access abortion in Kenya?
By Beth Karuana
Pregnancy termination is a very contentious issue in Kenya. Yet, Kenya records one of the highest mortality rates in Africa: Kenya sees 17% of its 6000 annual deaths resulting from unsafe abortions.
The high cases of unsafe abortion point to the reality of unwanted or unplanned pregnancies among women and girls.
The bigger challenge is that abortion is not permitted unless under restricted circumstances, such as when a trained health professional deems it necessary for emergency treatment, or when the mother’s life or health is in danger.
Despite these legal provisions, many health providers are reluctant to provide abortion services due to fear of legal consequences, stigma, or lack of training and equipment. Consequently, many women and girls resort to unsafe methods of terminating their pregnancies, leading to serious complications, including death.
It is, therefore, important that we highlight who and where women and girls can access these safe abortion, post -abortion care, and emergency medical treatment.
So, who provides abortion care services in Kenya?
Fortunately, there are some health care providers and initiatives that are working to provide safe abortion care in Kenya. These providers include doctors, nurses, midwives, clinical officers, pharmacists, and specialized organizations.
Licensed medical doctors are authorized to provide abortion care services in Kenya. They may perform both medical and surgical abortions, based on the circumstances and stage of pregnancy.
When it comes to nurses and midwives they must be registered and they are typically involved in the administration of medication abortion (using pills) and may assist in care of patients undergoing abortion procedures.
Further you can get abortion care services from clinical officers, clinical officers are healthcare professionals with specialized training. They may be involved in providing abortion services, particularly in clinical settings where doctors are not readily available.
In addition to these we have initiatives and facilities such as Reproductive Health Network Kenya, Safe2Choose, Ipas, Marie Stopes among others that specialize in provision of comprehensive information and post abortion care services.
The Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK), for example, has over 400 qualified health providers offer comprehensive abortion care services, including counseling, safe abortion methods, post-abortion contraception, and referral.
In addition to these organizations and professionals, technological solutions such as Nurse Nisa chatbot are available. This chatbot provides confidential and private information on abortion services and contraception, including guidance on self-managing an abortion with pills.
If you have any questions, reach out to us or the organizations above. You can also use the ‘Find a Clinic’ button to locate the nearest clinic to you.