The Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health want abortion laws of the country to be amended to ensure safe abortions for citizens.
National Vice Chairman of the Coalition, Ninsau Kwesi Darku-Alazar, in an interview with Nana Abena Serwaa on Morning Update on TV XYZ noted that most youth are likely to have bad experience with abortion because of the laws of the country.
Unsafe abortion remains a major public health problem in Ghana, especially as it is restricted by law. Safe abortion services on medico-social grounds as permitted by the law are not readily available in national health institutions.
It is for this reason Daku-Alazar believes the increase of quack doctors and unlicensed abortion clinics are on the rise in the country thus suggesting the need for the laws of abortion to be looked at again.
“Based of the law, people take advantage of the gaps created. When we look at this laws, we have to ask and see if the facilities are limited,”said Darku-Alazar.
“I believe it hinges on our laws on abortion as a country. If it needs revisiting…we have to look for how to move for a policy dialogue to see how best that law can be amended,” he added.
His comment comes on the back of the closure of some 8 health facilities including abortion clinics in the Ashanti Region. In Kumasi, the Regulatory body was able to identify nine of such facilities including Lake Road Clinic through intelligence picked from informants.
The closure of the clinics forms part of a nationwide exercise to clamp down unlicensed health facilities. This according to the Health Facility Regulatory Agency is to stem the rising cases of risks unsuspecting patients, who patronize such facilities, especially in deprived communities, are exposed to.
TV XYZ News has learnt some of the facilities closed are well known abortion clinics which have operated for years. Because they are not properly regulated, officials say its difficult to track their activities and find out if some engage quack doctors and nurses.
Among other things, the taskforce found unhygienic and unregistered medical equipment used in surgical procedures. In some cases, personnel performing medical services were also unlicensed.
Officials are yet to determine how widespread the threat is.They explained the focus is not to destroy businesses but to guarantee effective monitoring and safeguard the rights of patients.
Abortion and the law
The criminal offences Act ( Act 29) Section 58 states that one shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years when;
(a) any woman who with intent to cause abortion or miscarriage administers to
herself or consents to be administered to her any poison, drug or other noxious
thing or uses any instrument or other means whatsoever; or
(b) any person who—
(i) administers to a woman any poison, drug or other noxious thing or uses any
instrument or any other means whatsoever with the intent to cause abortion or
miscarriage, whether or not that the woman is pregnant or has given her consent;
(ii) induces a woman to cause or consent to causing abortion or miscarriage;
(iii) aids and abets a woman to cause abortion or miscarriage;
(iv) attempts to cause abortion or miscarriage; or
(v) supplies or procures any poison, drug, instrument or other thing knowing that it
is intended to be used or employed to cause abortion or miscarriage.