Recently, a friend of mine called me, she was crying but because I was heavily intoxicated (no thanks to my grandmother) I couldn’t really understand what she was saying between sobs. First thing on Sunday morning, I called her back and she told me she was pregnant and isn’t having it and I support her decision because if I were in her shoes, I won’t have it either.
We got talking about what the next step would be for her and we ended up lamenting on why abortions are illegal in Nigeria. First off, I think it’ll be easier on the supersensitive people of the world if an alternate terminology for abortion is coined.
Hi, my name is S and I think it’s about time that the Nigerian government alter the criminal status that is attached to abortions.
According to the Nigerian Criminal Code Act of 1990: A woman who seeks an abortion can face up to 7 years imprisonment, basically, it’s illegal for a woman to have an abortion. The only time it’s acceptable is when the mother’s health is at grave risk. This is the only jurisdiction that has to be met before a woman can obtain a safe and legal abortion in Nigeria and I find it ridiculous.
Over the years, induced abortion has been a subject of debate, controversy and even government discussion and it will continue to be so long as woman are ‘forced’ to have children they do not want. I for one cannot and will never judge a woman because she decides she doesn’t want to have a baby, not wanting to carry a pregnancy to full term doesn’t make her a bad person as opposed to popular belief. If a woman decides she doesn’t want to have a child, in all honesty, it’s her decision. Whatever her reasons for not having the child may be, it’s her decision and no one else’s because a pregnant woman has to endure 9-months of growing a human inside her, no one else ‘suffers/endures’ it with her.
A lot of Nigerians have various reasons for frowning against abortions, cultural and of course religion but I am of the strong belief that it should be based on what the pregnant woman thinks is best for her, not what the government says. The government for one, doesn’t seem to give a shit about the lives, safety and well-being of Nigerian women so why should they dictate if they can keep pregnancies or not. Is the government going to donate to the financial provisions needed to raise a child? The Nigerian government won’t even allow you have an abortion if you were raped and got pregnant except your life is at risk! That’s a load of bullocks really.
The country is already dealing with population issues and abortion is still a crime, forcing women to have children they don’t want. Why does the government have a say in what women do with their bodies? Concern is placed on two consenting same-sex adults who choose to be in a relationship when issues like women’s reproductive health should be the focus. Why do I believe that if men were somehow biologically capable of having children, the rules would be different?
Due to the fact that abortion is labelled as an ‘unnecessary felony’, several Nigerian women in hundreds of thousands are forced to seek terminations of pregnancies from risky quack doctors who usually operate in clandestine, unsanitary and unsafe conditions because according to the Nigerian constitution, anyone who helps a woman get an abortion can face up to three years in prison.
Abortions are very rampant and yet the government refuses to have a valid rethink on the issue. Abortions need to be decriminalized in Nigeria so that the medical procedure; which is said to be in fact safer than actual child birth can take place in well-managed hospitals and clinics around the country. It needs to be decriminalized just so that it’s an open option when a woman is deciding what to do with her pregnancy.
To wrap this up, I don’t get why some men have such strong opinions about abortion, I really don’t think men have a say in it. Yes it’s his sperm that fertilized the woman’s eggs but his contribution to the pregnancy pretty much ends at fertilization, from then on, the woman contributes to everything else; the life and health of the child. Even in child birth, men are not involved in the birth process itself. So I don’t see why men should think they have the right to dictate what a pregnant woman can or cannot do.
As we speak, my friend has no intention of telling her boyfriend, I don’t think he needs to know either. He is scheduled to take her on a trip at the end of the month for her birthday. While she’s there, she will figure out a way to not have a baby she doesn’t want and finally get that birth control implant I’ve been suggesting to her for months now.
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