Abortion is not a dirty word. Let’s get that out of the way first.
The hushed whispers, the fear (real or imagined), is absolutely unnecessary. Abortions happen in Nigeria on a daily basis; illegal or not, unplanned pregnancies are getting aborted.
Unfortunately, too many of those abortions are carried out in unsafe conditions by quacks.
But get this, a large number of abortions are done by licensed medical professionals in private hospitals under the table because even though it’s illegal, private healthcare in Nigeria is about commerce.
Doctors must eat; so for women who can afford to pay, an abortion doesn’t have to be unsafe.
The illegal status this country put on elective abortion, is not just anti-women, it’s hypocritical and unrealistic.
With the number of young people in low income communities (which is almost the entire population now, considering the current poverty rate) having sex, accessibility to proper sex education and contraception is very low.
For sociocultural and religious reasons, access to contraceptives and general birth control information are still denied young girls so they do not have the choice to make informed decisions about their sexuality.
I have been reading tweets from Nigerian men declaring that they are “pro-life”, they don’t support abortions blah blah blah…
I laugh because these are the same men who insist on having sex without a condom; who will suddenly remember they’re not ready or able to be a father when their sexual partners become pregnant; men who leave the responsibility of contraception to women because afterall they’re not the ones whose lives and bodies are disrupted by an unplanned pregnancy.
It’s very convenient to be anti abortion when you’re a Nigerian male.
The decision to have or not have an abortion is not always an easy one to make. But women should be the ones to decide what they want. It is our body afterall.
For those men that say, “what if I want a baby?” How about impregnating someone who WANTS to have a baby with you?
women are not broodmares. We do not exist to birth children for others.
We need to open up the conversation and demystify abortion so we can look at it objectively and decide what is actually best for us.
Young people are having and will have sex. Teach safe sex and provide free and easy access to birth control and the he rate of unplanned pregnancies will reduce.
Provide this information at the rural and grassroots community level and death/complications from quack abortions and babies dumped in refuse heaps will reduce.
Finally, if you need information about pregnancy prevention, family planning and child spacing, you can call 55059 or visit www.honeyandbanana.com