African musicians give creative voice against unsafe abortion

Musicians in two African nations are joining forces with Ipas and other reproductive rights advocates to raise awareness about the dangers of unsafe abortion.

xxxIn Malawi, the Coalition for the Prevention of Unsafe Abortion (COPUA) collaborated with 11 Malawian musical artists to produce Amayi Akuferanji, an album of reggae, hip-hop and songs from other musical genres highlighting the need for women’s access to safe, legal abortion care.

Ipas Ghana and the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) are equally teaming up to encourage musicians to learn about women’s reproductive rights and to use their creative skills and popular influence to spread that knowledge through music.

At a recent workshop organized by Ipas Ghana and MUSIGA, 80 musicians and others in the music industry heard from speakers including Dzifa Gomashie, Ghana’s deputy minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts; Deborah Freeman, MUSIGA’s general secretary; and Ipas Ghana’s country leader, Dr. Koma Jehu-Appiah, who spoke about the need to eliminate the stigma associated with abortion and to raise public awareness that safe, legal abortions are available in Ghana. The first in a three-part series, the workshop also explored ways to infuse issues of women’s reproductive health into song lyrics.

In Malawi, where abortion is legal only to save a woman’s life, Ipas is working with COPUA and other women’s health and rights advocates for legal reform to permit broader access to care. Under the current restrictive law, tens of thousands of women each year resort to risky procedures to terminate unwanted pregnancies, often resulting in serious complications or death.

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