Anti-Abortion Billboard Sparks Outrage From Activists
Women rights activists have come out guns blazing to condemn anti-abortion billboards mounted along different roads in Nairobi.
The activists called on the relevant authorities to ensure the removal of the billboards claiming they were inaccurate and encourage stigmatization.
The Sozo Church of God-sponsored billboards and posters have been mounted on strategic places near traffic lights and on electricity poles all across the city.
“The billboards fuel stigma and misinformation on abortion creating an environment that adversely affects reproductive health providers and women seeking these services,” revealed Evelyne Opondo, Africa director for the Center for Reproductive Rights.
The New York Headquartered organization is among the more than 500 groups and activists that have petitioned the Nairobi County governors office to have the billboards pulled down as they were shaming women on having the legal right to procure an abortion.
“Abortion is Murder!”, “Shut down abortion clinics!”, “Your mother gave you a chance, it wasn’t easy then too. Give your baby a chance!” read some of the billboards with pictures of fetuses in cupped hands.
Citizen Digital reported that the women rights activist went on to claim that such public shaming was responsible for women seeking the services from unqualified quacks thus endangering their own lives.
“As a result, they have unsafe abortions at home or in backstreet clinics, often inserting knitting needles into the cervix or drinking bleach which account for 35 percent of maternal deaths in Kenya, much higher than the global average,” Opondo added.
Apostle Catherine Oganga, a senior pastor at the Sozo Church of God, has come out to defend the billboards stating that they were intending to encourage women to take up adoption rather than abortion.
“I have spoken to many women who have had an abortion. Every woman struggled with guilt and shame and a lot of regrets,” revealed Apostle Oganga.
“Women do not want to have abortions. They are made by their men and parents and society to do it. No woman wants to kill her baby and that’s why we went out to begin fighting abortion,” she added.
Abortion is illegal under the Kenyan law, only permitted if the mother's life is in danger and urgent treatment is required.
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