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Tanzanian MP speaks out about combating unsafe abortion in the parliament

7 August 2022

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On 30th May 2022, during the Ministry of Community Development, Gender, Women and Special Groups’ budget discussion, one of the 33 trained MPs called for the government to address the issue of increased unsafe abortion practices by looking at ways to allow safe medical abortion practices. Contributing during the ministry’s budget discussion, the MP said, ‘’I understand there are circumstances which allow women to terminate pregnancies, but there are things we can improve so that abortion services can be accessed safely in hospitals and hence reduce unsafe practices which are currently increasing” she said. The MP added, “We may choose not to discuss unsafe abortion issues; however, a great number of women are dying due to them. The reports show that every year 1 million women and girls get unintended pregnancies, and we should create an environment where incidents of women opting for unsafe abortion can be prevented, and instead provide an option to access the service through hospitals and that is performed by qualified professionals”. This discussion comes as a direct result of MSI Tanzania's Values Clarification and Attitudes Transformation (VCAT) and Maputo Protocol domestication training which was attended by 33 Tanzania MPs in April 2022. During the VCAT training, the MPs agreed to strengthen strategies and committed to take actions to hold the government accountable to ensure reduction of Maternal Mortality resulting from unsafe abortion in their respective constituencies and through the parliament. They further committed to take actions to ensure the government allocate additional funding in support of Family Planning and continue to champion ASRHR interventions in their respective constituents. Marie Stopes Tanzania, through CAMMAC has been building the capacities of MPs to champion the reduction of maternal mortality resulting from unsafe abortion practices in Tanzania. Similar VCAT refresher session with 10 MPs has been conducted in June building on our political and technical advocacy interventions to ensure everyone has the right to access their reproductive rights. 

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