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#GirlontheStreet: Would You Keep or Abort an Unwanted Pregnancy?

Updated: May 13, 2020

This week, we are exploring the issue of unwanted pregnancies and abortions as it continues to affect many women in society today.

According to WHO, every year in the world, there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day. According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as at 2016, 623,471 legal induced abortions were reported from 48 reporting areas. The abortion rate for 2016 was 11.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years.

Bringing it home, according to a report by the Guttmacher Institute, one in four pregnancies in Nigeria are unintended. In spite of Nigeria’s highly restrictive abortion law, an estimated 1.25 million induced abortions occurred in 2012. The number doubled from an estimated 610,000 in 1996 because of both population growth and an increase in the rate of abortion. Nationally, one in seven pregnancies (14%) ended in induced abortion in 2012.

Even scarier, are the statistics around unsafe abortions. According to the Institute, complications of unsafe abortions range from pain and bleeding to more serious conditions, including sepsis (systemic infection), pelvic infections and injury from instruments—and even death. About 40% of women undergoing abortion experience complications serious enough to require medical treatment.

The reality of the situation is that a large number of women in Africa get unwanted pregnancies and are in dire situations and life circumstances were keeping these pregnancies would be destructive to their futures and to the baby’s life. So, while many women argue against abortion, the reality is that many women still turn to unsafe abortion as the ‘only way out’. Many women and girls thus risk their lives and risk destroying their bodies for the chance at escaping the life-altering impacts of these unwanted pregnancies. So, could legalizing safer abortion options be a better way out for young women and girls facing this challenge?

The other school of thought posits that every baby should be given a chance at life and that abortions are murderous acts which should be punishable by law. Promoters of this ideology also believe that women or girls with unwanted pregnancies can explore giving up the babies for adoption or to orphanages post childbirth, for religious and other reasons. This is a valid point. But, is this option even possible for many young women and girls?

Investigating further into the issue of unwanted pregnancies and abortions, we hit the streets to speak to women to find out their opinions about keeping or eliminating an unwanted pregnancy. Here are a few of the most intriguing stories we gathered:

Lamide, 28

I would have the baby, but I would give it up for adoption right after. I cannot live with the guilt of knowing I aborted a baby. It’s scary.

Kemi, 20

I have too much to lose having a baby at this point in my life. I can’t even imagine it. I would definitely do what I have to do. People will not understand until they are in the situation themselves and can see their future crashing in front of them. If there is a way out. I would take it.

Mariam, 25

There is no point in bringing a child into this world to live a miserable life. How will I take care of the child? I can’t do it all on my own. Me and the child would suffer. We will both be miserable. My future will be destroyed. I won’t keep a pregnancy I can’t afford to keep.

Pamela, 26

I don’t think it is in my place to make that kind of decision. This is a life we are talking about. I would accept my faith and have the baby and figure out life after that one step at a time.

What would YOU do if you were faced with having an unwanted pregnancy? Let us know in the comments section. If you or anyone you know is going through the confusing time of having an unwanted pregnancy click here to find help.


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