Thursday, September 27, 2012

This is Why Abortion Should Be Legalised

Yes I said it.

In the past 2 years I have observed and gleaned information from my doctor friends, media about practices here in the UK.

Enter a typical clinic in the UK and there are posters discreetly placed giving you numbers to call if you are pregnant and need someone to talk to about the next step to take. Contraception, condoms, morning after pills can be found in most public toilets...just so you don't have an excuse to have unprotected sex. These policies are acceptable because the govt recognises/accepts that sex will happen whether they approve of it or not. so they might as well make it safe. Moreover economically it is cheaper to prevent than cure STDS/AIDS or provide abortion innit?
Requests for morning after pills are treated as emergencies in GPs since their efficacy is limited by times. Request for a termination and you receive VIP treatment. You are counseled and taken through the steps involved in the termination.
Dilation and curettage are of course extinct practices. It’s all about drugs now. First Mifepristone which blocks the hormone progesterone and causes the uterus lining to break down followed by Misoprostol which makes the womb contract, causing cramping and bleeding similar to a miscarriage. and Hey presto pregnancy is gone with minimal damage to womb.

Of course there is the emotional/mental aspect. The decision to abort isn’t beans I’m sure, so counseling is available if you need it. Or if you prefer, you and your conscience can sort it out. Interestingly contrary to popular opinion about the guilt, I have read personal stories of women who say it was the best decision they made. They just did what they gotta do.

I appreciate the wonder of conception. I would prefer/wish that every child conceived lives to contribute to the world and tell their story. But I am also ready to accede that that is in Planet Utopia. Pregnancy outside marriage has always been nuanced with shame even in Biblical times. But this is not 500AD and we have to evolve our thinking. 
In most developed countries, abortion is available on demand (some even force it on you – China) but they also make it easy for you to be make pro-life choices. Single mothers get benefits if jobless, tax concessions, extended maternity days, benefits for the child, the school puts her education on hold till she is able to resume etc etc. 
Though i look askance at reality shows like “16 and pregnant” I acknowledge the messages like ‘pregnancy is life changing but it is not the end of the world’, moreover by celebrating those girls and their babies they are telling us that pregnancy is a beautiful thing.

Then you come to Africa/Nigeria or insert *typical African country* and the story changes.

It is bad enough being 18 and pregnant and facing the devil and the deep blue sea - angry parents, suspension from school and rejection by sperm donor (eejit) – but you now have to face the traumatic and shameful experience that abortion is in Africa and go to some unsterilised cesspool because abortion is illegal in your country and this is the only thing you can afford.

What do we gain from the deaths that happen through botched abortions?
Why should a woman in terminating a pregnancy lose her womb and ability to reproduce in future as well or worse die?
Why do we want a  38-45 year old woman to go through a 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th pregnancy endangering her life, increasing her chances of having a child with Down’s syndrome when she could have simply terminated at 7weeks?
What do you do when IUD fails you, cause it does?
What do you do when you have a husband who refuses to undergo vasectomy or use condom?
What do you do when you can’t afford contraception or its not easily available?
What do you do when you face losing your job?
Why should a young girl be expected to bear a child she is emotionally, physically, financially and mentally unable to care of. Yes, she had sex. Premarital sex, plenty of it or little. Must we punish her? And punish the next generation because believe me, the child she bears is going to continue to bear the shame of illegitimacy from our loving and tolerant African society (tongue in cheek).

In Nigeria abortion is a crime. According to Section 228 of the Criminal Code “any person who, with intent to procure miscarriage of a woman whether she is or is not with child, unlawfully administers to her or causes her to take any poison or other noxious thing, or uses any force of any kind or uses any other means whatever, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years”.
While Section 229 of Criminal Code provides that “any woman who, with intent to procure her own miscarriage, whether she is or is not with a child, unlawfully administers to her or causes her to take any poison or other noxious thing, or uses any force of any kind or uses any other means whatever, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years”.
Interpretation: A woman pregnant from rape cannot abort. A woman who finds out she is carrying a deformed baby cannot abort. Chemists, , pharmacists, ogogoro seller, doctor are all liable to 7 years imprisonment if caught.
Reality:  Unsafe abortion is a major cause of maternal mortality and morbidity in Nigeria, accounting for 30–40% of maternal deaths. The abortion rate in Nigeria is 25 per 1000 women aged 15–44 years and there are about 610,000 pregnancy terminations annually. (link here)

Italy, a predominantly Catholic country with a ruling Christian Democratic Party liberalized its Abortion laws since 1978. The said law, considered as the most liberal Abortion Law in the world, allows any woman from 18 years upward to freely seek an abortion at a private or public institution during the first 90 days of pregnancy. Under the said Italian Law, abortions can be sought on the premises of health, economic, social, family, or psychological reasons.(link here)

Interpretation:
Abortion on demand! Women have their reproductive rights upheld.
Reality: Italy tops the Table with the lowest maternal mortality rate in the world 3.9 deaths per 100,000 live births
Nigeria is #162nd with 608 deaths per 100,000 live births (unsafe abortion causes 182-243deaths per 100,000)
Ghana is #145th with 405 deaths per 100,000 live births (link here)

If this talk about Unsafe abortion and maternal mortality ratios etc still sounds like Greek, Kindly watch this

A man who has never read Grey’s anatomy or undergone any form of medical training has the unbridled opportunity to use the crudest methods to dip his hands and unsterilised instruments into the most intimate part of a woman.
As if that’s not bad enough, she is raped.
He has been providing these services for 15 years. 260 women per year  X 15 years (using an average of 5 patients per week) is 3900 women aborting and raped.
And this is just one quack. Multiply that by a 1000 quacks and we have to admit that we can’t let this continue.
This is small Ghana.  18 million population . Wanna do the Maths on Nigeria?

Two attempts to change the law in Nigeria were stopped by conservative women's groups. They say a change in the law would promote promiscuity, and weaken the moral fibre of Nigeria.

"Making more abortions available is not the answer," says Saudata Sani, a female member of the House of Representatives for Kaduna state, in northern Nigeria. "Women need to be educated about their rights over their body and given opportunities to plan their families, but it must be done in a way that protects public morality." (link here)

I hear you Ezigbo Nne!! but you are talking from two sides of your mouth. Reproductive rights must be unconditional. A woman either has rights over her body or she doesn’t - right to have 10 children, 1 child or none - and the right to demand the best medical services to uphold this right.

We are not much better than the countries that stone a woman to death for committing adultery. By letting them die at the hands of butchers we are doing exactly the same thing. 

Live and let live. Live and let live.

30 comments:

  1. Eh! I am happy with this topic. Let me fee this nwa and come back. Eziokwu ka ikwuru.

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  2. the problem with Nigeria is that we are quick to scream 'moral values' in the most irrelevant cases e.g the gay thing
    i think people should be able to make life changing decisions(to have or not to have a child) by themselves without stupid laws

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    1. The ironic thing about our elected leaders that scream moral values is that they fail to realize or choose to ignore that they are the biggest abortion providers in the country--from abortion of lives to abortion of dreams-- they are a one-stop abortion shop.

      They are the same people who use all means to kill the child right from conception. How else do you explain the death traps we call hospitals and maternal care. For those fortunate to survive the failed initial abortion, our govt ensures they go on to have a terribly unpleasant existence that requires the grace of all the heavenly beings/forces/universe, gbo gbo everything combined just to accomplish the most mundane things/dreams. With bad roads, poor healthcare and education, lack of opportunities, lack of electricity and fundamental human rights, degraded environments, etc acting as over zealous quack doctors. You see a young bright student who wishes to become a lawyer, but Jamb, Waec, and our poor schools quickly abort the dream and instead offer the person theater arts.

      Until our leaders/govt fix themselves, they should really stop talking about moral values.

      Delete
    2. Amen to that Prism and Luciano!

      Prism, you couldn't have said it better. I love how you illustrated the different ways abortion of lives occurs. like most of them wouldn't procure abortions for their kids on some foreign hospital without thinking twice about it but when it comes to making policies that will help the masses they become moralistic.

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  3. LOL.. you hit the nail on the head when you said that Naija female lawmaker is talking through both sides of her mouth. I am proudly prochoice and I support the legalization of abortion all around the world.

    P.S: You might find this article, "The legitimate children of rape," interesting: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/08/the-legitimate-children-of-rape.html
    It was written after a male US senate candidate said on live TV that the female body has a way to shut down unwanted pregnancies from rape. The touching quote below, which has been going around on Tumblr, is from the article:

    "In working on my book, I went to Rwanda in 2004 to interview women who had borne children of rape conceived during the genocide. …At the end of my final interview, I asked the woman I was interviewing whether she had any questions. She paused shyly for a moment. “Well,” she said, a little hesitantly. “You work in this field of psychology.” I nodded. She took a deep breath. “Can you tell me how to love my daughter more?” she asked. “I want to love her so much, and I try my best, but when I look at her I see what happened to me and it interferes.” A tear rolled down her cheek, but her tone turned almost fierce, challenging. “Can you tell me how to love my daughter more?” she repeated."

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    1. Thanks for sharing that exerpt Prism.
      that's so sad. the reality of living with a child born from rape...
      as for the US senator, he is high on grass. this our female body is just too powerful. it can attract rape and harassment, born male babies at will, shut down on unwanted pregnancies etc. I don't know why men can't achieve the simplest feat of keeping down an erection till it is welcome.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. did you observe the smug smile on his face ..that guy has mental issues sorry to say. all that bloody mess yet no condom. urgh!!!!

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  5. Kilonje public morality? I eirther have the right or i dont, fini! Mshew. Prism has said more than i had in mind sef.

    That Ghanaian quack just makes me sad. Taking advantage of scared and helpless women like that. He is such a sicko. And to think he's been operating for over a decade

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    1. I wish I could say he will be cooling his heels in jail for the next 2 decades...maybe Ghana's laws can be trusted..

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  6. I totally agree. Nigerians are allowing morality and religion to lead them on the path of stupidity. I saw that video a while back on Linda Ikeji or Ladun Liadi and I felt so ill.

    That a young girl cannot get an abortion if she needs one is tragic indeed.

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    1. if you notice, morals and religion rear their heads at all matters 'female and sexual' while the biggest moral issue corruption is treated like 'boys play'.
      really tragic

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  7. I need to go read that our Nigerian constitution, wow did not realize abortion is illegal even when necessary.

    Post on point, no need to add anymore.

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    1. I knew it wasn't legal but I didn't know the laws were so strict/limited.
      its one of the numerous laws we inherited from the British. while they have since changed theirs we still uphold ours.

      Delete
  8. Omg! This is really on point. I especially have issues with people that still say no termination even when the doctor has expressly said the pregnancy was unsafe for the mother. Of course, both the child and the mother died in that case when the mother could have been saved. Sometimes, we do let the moral thing cloud our judgement.
    Nne, this topic is controversial but only a person who thinks deep and understands the plight of women can appreciate it. Jisi ike.

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    1. I know it is controversial and I respect individual choices to reject abortion.

      I only baulk at a government which refuses to sanction a medical service that can save lives when the evidence is sooo overwhelming

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  9. I just summoned courage to watch the video. Just terrible. Absolutely terrible. SMH.

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  10. Until we start being sincere with ourselves in this country, we'll keep doing more evils to ourselves without knowing it. You funnily realise that those so-called leaders that scream "moral value" in the face of abortion are those that go secretly to do the same abortion thing for their children. Then, you'd never hear them publicly say their children are wayward.

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  11. hmmm.. i don't completely agree with you. The same way the woman should not be punished because she had premarital sex and got pregnant is the same way the conceived child should be punished and be killed before it has a chance to fend for itself or a chance to even live. I can only speak from a christian perspective... which is what leads me to this... there is a reason why pre marital sex is advised again.. other than the soul staying (story for another day), it prevents issues like getting pregnant when you are not ready for a child... it just isn't fair that you make the choice to have sex and then you get pregnant then you make a choice to abort the child!

    Where I am torn is when a woman gets raped and then falls pregnant. I really don't know. The human in me says it is acceptable... but deep down I don't think it is sha. As for abortion because it will affect your job or because you are old and pregnant etc... nah.. doesn't fly with me either... a child is not a disease, children are a blessing from God... plus.. if your husband won't get a vasectomy, tie your womb....

    my 2 cents.

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    1. I appreciate your contribution Angelsbeauty.

      I agree with you that a baby shouldn't suffer for the folly of his/her parents. But the pragmatic side thinks termination at cell stage is better than a lifetime of suffering at the hands of reluctant parents.
      I have mentioned on this blog that my Mom gave birth to me at 47. She was advised to abort. She didnt and went ahead to have me child no 7. I tore her womb and she was sick for the 1st 3 months of my life. She nearly lost her life. No breastfeeding for me.
      Yes i am a blessing to my folks. yes I am grateful for life and for my small contribution to the world but...I have also wondered "What if she had taken the doctor's advice"? I wouldnt be born and I wouldn't know better. Nor she.
      I think God would have just sent me to another more welcoming home :)

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    2. you see? in ur case you were the exception,i.e. you lived and so did your mum and you also aren't malnourished (i hope)... :) if your mum had been Pro- abortion I guess your blog wouldn't have been here now ginger.. :)

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  12. oh yea, another point... if abortion is necessary for the health of the mother then i think it is ok or where the child will not live a normal life but even then.. arrghghhh i dunno.. i still feel like you are killing a child

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  13. I can't believe you ended your post by saying 'Live and let live'. Such an irony.

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    1. Bless you, you noticed huh :). Funny enough I had appended "I know I know this sounds ironic" as the last line after I wrote that. then I deleted it.
      "Live and let live" works both ways. If you can, keep the pregnancy. If you can't, let our society/health system give you the chance to live too.
      I find no joy in hearing about neglected kids, malnourished babies, teenagers selling their babies (hope you know that's hot in Nigeria)or mothers dying in childbirth giving birth to kids they shouldn't.

      p.s.You didn't have to be anonymous to make your comment you know?

      You could have written "Ginger, don't you think 'live and let live' is ironic. Same message. same meaning. but polite. Then you wouldn't have to be Anonymous.

      Delete
  14. Oh, I wasn't aiming for polite, Ms Ginger. Surely you knew that!

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    1. As you're not aiming for polite, Anonymous, how about someone tells you what to do with your own body? When to have a baby, when not to have one. When to have sex, when not to have it, when to nurse your eggs (or is it your sperm) for life and keep popping babies out because you happen to be a human being born with a functioning reproductive organ. How about that for rude or would you rather I was polite?

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  15. hi ginger.. As a medical student and a christian at that I still totally believe that abortion is a NO NO.. your reasons, try as you may do not justify taking a life anymore than the villagers who killed those 4 boys at uniport were justified for taking the lives of alleged criminals. No one has any clue of what the child to be aborted may become in the future so why dont you give them a fighting chance? I have quite a few adopted friends who ive known over the years to be exceptional. If you know you cannot handle bringing a baby into this world then don't do things that would create one!! the fact that contraceptives are readily available also give you an opportunity to right any wrongs.Hence the reason i support all these advertisements for protection. And i totally understand complicated conditions requiring abortion as the only alternative and those are the exceptions, however the legalising of abortions just so that "risky teens" can have their way is never going to be the right thing in my opinion.

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