Attitudes and practices on induced abortion among Igembe Women in Meru County, Kenya


  • Charity Kinya Koronya Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies, University of Nairobi, Kenya
  • Charles Owuor Olungah Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies, University of Nairobi, Kenya
  • George Odipo Population Studies and Research Institute, University of Nairobi, Kenya


attitudes, induced abortion, knowledge, practices


This study sought to investigate beliefs about induced abortion in the Igembe community, Meru County. Purposively sampled individuals provided data via case narratives, in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions. Transcripts were generated verbatim, and data was thematically analyzed in accordance with the objectives of the study. Inducing abortion was culturally acceptable and recognized in Igembe, particularly when an uncircumcised girl became pregnant or when an uncircumcised boy got a girl pregnant. Such abortions were obtained by men who had been specifically trained by elders for the purpose. Isolation of the pregnant girl/woman from family and peers, counselling in preparation for the abortion, cleansing of the girl and family after the procedure, use of herbs, rolling of banana stalks on the girl's/stomach, woman's and insertion of objects in the private parts were all practices used to induce abortion. According to the study, women were subjected to induced abortion in order to ensure adherence to social norms and reduce pre-marital sex. Women in Igembe continue to obtain abortions, and traditional approaches and legislation have been ineffective in eliminating the practice. Furthermore, religious beliefs, traditions, and socio-cultural norms continue to stigmatize and condemn abortion-seekers. Furthermore, the decision to have an abortion is motivated by both internal and external forces that are carefully considered by the concerned women.


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How to Cite

Koronya, C. K., Olungah, C. O., & Odipo, G. (2022). Attitudes and practices on induced abortion among Igembe Women in Meru County, Kenya. Research Journal in Advanced Humanities, 3(4), 53-67.