The State has lifted the ban on post-abortion care services by Marie Stopes Kenya following a public outcry from Kenyans online.
The ban was imposed on November 20 after Marie Stopes Kenya was outed over allegedly performing the procedure on underage girls. This prompted a reaction from netizens who pleaded with the Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki to reconsider the move.
Though the hashtag #DearCSSicilyKariuki, Kenyans on Twitter urged the minister to give a chance to professionally procured abortions and prevent deaths that may occur during backstreet abortions.
The CS on Thursday released a statement allowing Marie Stopes to offer abortion services but with conditions; the company should observe all laws that cover its work, as stated in article 26(4) of the Constitution.
Ms Kariuki further instructed Marie Stopes to comply with all directives issued by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board, to which it must submit a letter of commitment “that they will not carry out any abortion services on demand”.
“I require the [medical board] to carry out regular supervision of the operations of Marie Stopes Kenya and submit corresponding reports to my office,” she added.
A statement from Prof. George Magoha, Chairman of the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board, instructed Marie Stopes management to ensure that they hand over weekly reports of procedures carried out at their facilities to the Board.
“The order directing Marie Stopes Kenya to desist from offering post-abortion care services s hereby lifted and Marie Stopes Kenya is instructed to operate within the confines of the Constitution of Kenya,” he said.
The law permits abortions only in the case of emergencies and where the life or health of the woman is in danger.
The procedure must be recommended by a trained health professional.
CS Kariuki noted that all health practitioners and institutions must adhere to these regulations.