At how many weeks can I get an abortion?
Every day, seven women in Kenya lose their lives due to unsafe and illegal abortions. In 2012 alone, Kenya recorded 464,490 induced abortions. This alarming statistic underscores the urgency of addressing the issue of abortion in Kenya.
In this article, we delve into the question, ‘How many weeks into a pregnancy can a woman legally obtain an abortion in Kenya?’ We sought the expert insights of Dr. Zebedee Nyakwara Motanya, the Secretary General of Usawa Health Foundation, to shed light on this matter.
How many weeks do I have to be to get an abortion in Kenya?
Kenyan law does not explicitly state the number of weeks into a pregnancy when a woman can legally obtain an abortion. However, abortions are generally more permissible in the earlier stages of pregnancy to safeguard the mother’s health or life.
Dr. Zebedee Nyakwara explains that healthcare providers may have varying criteria. Some may offer abortion services as soon as a woman tests positive for pregnancy, while others may prefer to wait until the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy (or the first or second week after a missed period).
Legal grounds for abortion in Kenya
Abortion in Kenya is legally permitted under certain circumstances. The law allows for abortion when the life or health of the mother is in danger. Additionally, the Constitution permits abortion if, in the opinion of a trained health professional, the life or health of the mother is at risk, or if emergency treatment is necessary.
Dr. Zebedee advises women seeking abortion care to consult with a trained health professional to avoid potential risks such as life-long injuries, severe disability, heavy bleeding, damage to internal organs, or future infertility.
If you wish to learn more about abortion care or share your experiences, we are here to help. Join our online campaign advocating for access to safe and legal abortion, and help raise awareness to end unsafe abortion.