Health experts condemn plans to legalise abortion
HEALTH experts have condemned legalising abortion practices in Africa. They suggested that married couple should go for family planning rather than engage in abortion. They, however, stressed that abortion is dangerous to women’s health and anything that affects health is regarded as abuse of women.
Speaking at the Foundation for African Culture (FACH) Seminar in Lagos, biomedical scientist and Nigerian-born based in the United Kingdom (UK), Obianuju Ekeocha, said that abortion might damage the womb of a woman and lead to infertility in the future. She said that Africa should be a continent where every pregnancy is wanted no matter the circumstances.
Ekeocha stated that legalising abortion in Africa is contrary to African ethics and culture especially in Nigeria, unlike some part of foreign countries, where abortion has been legalised. She called on African women to avoid any advice that might be given to them in order to perform abortion.
Ekeocha said: “Over the years, I have been working to promote Africa traditional values and marital life in our own understanding on what family is all about and what marriage should be. We want to shear our experience on the increase of the abortion in Africa where married couples engage in abortion but Africa ethics and tradition do not accept abortion. Healthcare practitioners, should provide an education for African women to say no to abortion.”
“Even when women found themselves in difficult situation, which is infertility, which is one the most difficult problems in Africa marriage. When women are involved in abortion especially, the young ladies it affects the womb, which might result in problem of infertility and we go back and accept abortion it is wrong.”
“We have more recognized family in Africa than abroad because Africa is where we have large number of people who love their family members. For instance, in United Kingdom they do not value family. In Nigeria we have wedding every week. In Africa we have aunts and uncles who care for us.
I traveled to UK, for over 10 years I know only one person who did wedding. So, marriage is not recognized In UK. People live together as husband and wife without getting married. So I get to know that they do not have recognized family because they have a lot divorced marriages in UK, people have ground patents, which divorced each themselves. Imagine that ground mothers or fathers are alive but they are divorced. One person would be having four ground parents and it is not Nigeria culture. Such people do not have cousins or aunts. I discovered that in Africa no matter how poor or rich you are you still have network family members, who genuinely like you and who will cry if anything happen to you”.
“For example, in UK we have a lot of old people who stay in old peoples home because they do not have any body to take care of them. These are people who have children for different men and when the children grow up they would forget them”.
Wendy Wright, from Centre for Family and Human Right New York, said the United Nations Population Fund is committed to delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted. But who decides if a child is unwanted? United Nation is doing every thing possible to ensure that every child is wanted.
Wendy said: “It is researchers, not mothers, often label unwanted pregnancies.
If a woman ever told survey she wanted to stop having children, any later pregnancies are automatically considered unwanted. The assumption is that her desires never change. Nevertheless, researchers consistently complain that women’s views change, and regard it as a flaw.
“We have come to Africa to educate women about the dangers of abortion and United Nation has encouraged that every pregnancy should be wanted. Abortion is a termination of life, which is a sin against humanity so; abortion should not be used as an avenue to reduce over population for a particular country. People should have family planning and educate their female child to avoid premarital sex because it would lead to unwanted pregnancy”.
“We ask government to commit billions of dollars to family planning, because millions of women have an unmet need for modern contraceptives. But how is that ‘need’ being measured? Unmet need for family planning was a concept intended to create common group between groups focused on women’s right and population control advocates with a history of restoring to coercion.
“Women with unmet need are those who are fertile and sexually active but are not using any method of contraception, and report not wanting any more children or wanting to delay the next child.
The concept of unmet needs point to the gap between women’s reproductive intentions and their contraceptive behavior.
Women’s attitude towards childbearing should not be oversimplified.
“For example, between a quarter and more than half of women in several sub-Saharan African countries who had expressed a desire to avoid pregnancy said it would be “no problem” or a small problem” if they became pregnant in the next few weeks.
The “unmet need” concept is misleading and falsely equates desire to postpone pregnancy with demand for contraceptives.
Women choose not to use contraceptives for a variety of reasons.
Research Director, Human Life International, Dr. Brian Clowes, said that using condom to prevent pregnancy should encourage spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV/AIDs) therefore people should not use condom rather they should have proper family planning for sake of health.
Clowes said: “Condom is not safe rather people should learn to be abstinence from sex and married couple should go for family planning. We are positive that your participation will be very beneficial to the nation as we educate the general public on matters bothering on family values and cultural heritage”.