Kenya bans Marie Stopes from offering abortion services

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The authorities in Kenya have banned the international health organisation Marie Stopes from offering any form of abortion services.

The Medical Practitioners Board says it made the decision after investigating complaints that the group’s adverts were promoting abortion.

Abortion is illegal in Kenya unless a mother’s health is in danger. Marie Stopes says it operates within the law, offering counselling services including post-abortion care.

The head of the government agency in charge of approving adverts, Alfred Mutua, welcomed the ban and accused the previous US government of causing moral decay in Kenya by promoting abortion.

Some Kenyans fear the ban could lead to a rise in unsafe back-street abortions.

The Kenyan branch of Marie Stopes has been offering reproductive services since 1985, running 22 clinics and 15 mobile outreach clinics.

Its slogan is “Children by Choice not Chance”. It is the go-to facility for women with unwanted pregnancies, according to local newspaper Sunday Nation.

The organisation’s country director, Dana Tilson, told the paper the abortion services they were offering conformed with the constitution.

“Marie Stopes Kenya offers pregnancy crisis counselling and post-abortion care with the aim of saving the woman and promoting positive health outcomes,” she said. (BBC)

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