Family Affair

THE NEED TO CURB INCREASING CASES OF ABORTION IN NIGERIA By Dr. Nma Olebara (FCAI)

The issue of unwanted pregnancy and abortions have been one of the social problems that have be fallen our country today.

Unplanned pregnancies among teenage girls and young women have arisen despite improvements in educational level. They have increased at a very high speed.

Teenage pregnancy is a result of sexual intercourse between young girls and boys who are exploring the changes happening in their bodies by having unsafe sex with each other.  They simply indulge in the act without knowing the consequences and fall into deep trouble, hence crisis pregnancy. This pregnancy is not desired or wanted and they start looking for a way out. The teenager in order to avert reproach at home by parents may resort to ways of getting rid of the pregnancy. She may attempt self medication by taking some concoctions or abortion.

They may resort to abortion which is a procedure to end a pregnancy by use of medicine or surgery to remove the embryo or foetus and placenta from the uterus.

Abortion negatively impacts future child bearing by increasing the risk of infertility, miscarriages, complications, ectopic or foetal health problems.

Without parental support, she may be frustrated and resort to dumping the baby in dustbin, toilet or by the roadside. It is no longer news to hear about dumping of babies which has led to increase in orphanages and motherless babies’ homes. The overall well being of such children is at great risk. These young girls face the stark reality of being single mother on little or no income. The chance of such children being raised to acquire education and a change of achieving life- goals is highly unlikely makingNigeria, a nation faced with the social challenges of unwanted children born into poverty and left to roam our streets. Life now becomes difficult for the girl and her baby as she has dropped out of school and her education cut short. She lacks the job skills which make it hard for her to find and keep a job; she becomes a nuisance to   her family and financially dependent on her family and public assistance.

There are some environmental factors that can contribute to crisis in pregnancy among young girls some of these factors include educational failure, poverty, unemployment, low esteem, poor school performance, growing up in a single parent and ignorance are some of the causes of teenage pregnancy. They lack knowledge about contraception, STD, HIV/AIDS. They are uncertain of what to expect from a relationship and have a realistic picture of parenthood. They are surrounded by sexual images and messages which imply that sexual activity is a norm. They are exposed to all kinds of permissive behaviour. So many influences have led to their decline in moral behaviour. There are cases of indecent dressing, watching pornographic films and books, writing romantic text messages, watching lewd materials from their phones etc.

Before now, virginity was a virtue and the norm was for a Nigerian girl to go to her husband’s house on her wedding day as a virgin but sad to observe that majority of our girls and boys lose their virginity before 15years. Every year, there are million cases of premature births where the mother is below the age of twenty. Seventy thousand females die every year due to complicated cases of teenage pregnancy. There is the psychological pressure too and social stigma. Non co-operation of parents triggers the trauma and the girl may contemplate suicide. Giving birth at an early age weakens the body and mind. It is the most horrifying picture which needs to be corrected at emergent level.

The United Nation says 53,000 women die annually of pregnancy related illness. This is one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Doctors and counselors inNigeriasay teenage mothers are more at risk because of lack of access to health care and a culture that does not talk about sex. Poverty is the key factor for teenage pregnancy. Girls whose families are in unskilled social class are ten times more likely to become teenage mothers than girls from professional background. Boys and girls who do well in school, participate in non academic activities and plan for their future are less likely to become pregnant or bear children during their teenage years. All teenagers need encouragement to postpone sexual involvement and information on pregnancy prevention if they become sexually active. Without adequate information about sexual and reproductive health, unwanted pregnancy will continue to be high causing teenagers to continue bringing unwanted children into the world with its social problems.

No doubt, the causes of this social decadence could be traced back to inadequate home training, the mad desire for material wealth among the females in this sophisticated jet age, mere emotional satisfaction, rape, incest, prostitution, unrealistic  false marriage promises and extra marital relations.

The problems of abortion and unwanted pregnancies have been so chaotic that the public has been compelled to repeatedly call on our legislators to summon up enough courage and legalize abortion. Whether we use the word “Remove “flush”, “wash”, terminate” evacuate, abortion is murder because a baby dies.

In the words of Mother Teresa ofCalcutta“Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion”.

An unplanned pregnancy is not the of life. It is good to note that proper management of crisis in pregnancy will help to reduce mortality rate Teenagers should have access to right information else they will continue to explore and experiment with sex.

Schools should provide responsible policies and information to alert them on the disadvantages of bringing unwanted and unplanned children into the world. Both boys and girls should be counseled on making the right choices, the implication of having sex, and understand the meaning of having a baby before they are ready.

Abstinence is the best solution before marriage. Teenagers should abstain completely from sexual activity until they are married.

Finally, parents should rise up to the charge of giving real training to their children so as the grow up as responsible citizens.

 

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