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African abortion rights in peril as pro-lifers fight to follow ...

World

African abortion rights in peril as pro-lifers fight to follow US example

Abortion rights campaigners fear negative knock-on after media leak says US court could overturn Roe v Wade ruling

Andrew Cawthorne

When a desperate and bleeding 17-year-old girl walked into his rural health centre, Kenyan medic Ismail Mohammed Salim thought he was doing the right thing by helping her conclude an unwanted and dangerous pregnancy. Days later, both were in jail.

“I gave an evacuation service to save a patient’s life as the government trained me to do. Then I’m prosecuted,” said Salim, who was accused of performing an illegal abortion and detained in Kilifi town, where he had to sleep 20-to-a-cell. “I was in despair.”

After a week in custody and a two-year legal process, the clinical officer and girl were vindicated in March by the high court, which reaffirmed Kenya’s constitutional provision for abortion services in emergency or life-threatening situations...

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