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Marie Stopes Clinic Halts Abortions After Medical Board Directive

Marie Stopes has suspended abortion services following an order from the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board.

The facility, which also provides contraception services, was given the order on Wednesday last week.

Kenya country director Tilson Dana yesterday said other family planning, maternal health and general medical services will not be affected.

“All Marie Stopes clinics countrywide remain open and are continuing to provide essential medical services,” Dana said in a statement.

The board banned the facility from conducting abortions in Kenya following complaints from the public. The board also blocked the health service provider from publishing misleading information on its website.

Abortion is illegal. The Constitution says abortion can only be performed on mothers endangered by a pregnancy.

In a meeting on November 10, the board said it was dissatisfied by Marie Stope’s guidelines on reproductive health.

It gave Marie Stopes 60 days to submit a report of the reviewed guidelines “to conform with the law.” Board chairman Daniel Yumbya ordered the facility to submit weekly returns to the regulator over the next 60 days.

Dana said Marie Stopes respects and complies with national laws and regulations governing abortion in all countries where they operate.

“In Kenya, safe abortion is legally permitted when a woman’s health or life is at risk. In the face of lack of awareness on the law, an average of seven women die every day as a result of unsafe abortions,” Dana said.

The facility was asked to relook its guidelines on reproductive health services. It was also ordered to pull down all adverts on abortion. The regulator also barred Marie Stopes from running advertisements that contravene Public Health Facilities Advertising Rules, 2016.

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