Kenya: Centre for Reproductive Rights Sues Over Recent Marie Stopes Ban

Comedians entertain guests during the opening of a Marie Stopes clinic in Nakuru (file photo).
30 November 2018

The Centre for Reproductive Rights has filed a case at the High Court challenging the recent decision to ban Marie Stopes Kenya from providing any abortion and post-abortion care services.

The suit is against the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Director of Medical services, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board, Kenya Film and Classification Board and its CEO, Ezekiel Mutua.

“Any ban on reproductive health services is a violation of the Kenyan Constitution and fundamental human rights and is an affront to women and girls,” said Evelyne Opondo, the Senior Regional Director for Africa, at the Centre for Reproductive Rights.

Opondo further noted that the suit undermines Kenyan women and girls’ access to reproductive health services and information, including access to safe and legal abortion and violates their human rights.

The centre also claims that the health of Kenyan women and girls is now in jeopardy as many will be forced to seek unsafe alternatives in the absence of affordable, quality care that is provided in non-judgmental settings such as Marie Stopes.

“The ban by the medical board has had a chilling effect on healthcare service providers who are now in fear of providing these essential, life-saving services for fear of harassment and prosecution,” said Opondo.

KMPDB this month banned the international charity Marie Stopes from offering abortion services to women and girls after complaints it was promoting the termination of unwanted pregnancies.

In a letter dated November 14, 2018, KMPDB has also instructed the healthcare provider to submit evidence of compliance to the order and their weekly returns for all services to board within the next 60 days.

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