Abortion Stigma and Sexual
Reproduction Health and Rights among the Youth
The human toll of unsafe abortion in Africa is the highest in the world, where 56%of the world’s unsafe abortions occur, and women face the highest risk of mortality after unsafe abortion.
Millions of youth suffers abortion stigma from their relatives and friends which has increased the rate of mortality among youths due to lack of medical attention.
Understanding Abortion Stigma
Abortion stigma can be defined as negative attribute ascribed to women who seek to terminate a pregnancy that marks them, internally or externally, as inferior to ideals of woman hood.
Abortion stigma is a critical issues these days and sensitive issues for so many girls. Abortion is often not something that is expected …how ever; the stigma is so strong that some girls are often forced to turn away from their dreams.
Reasons For Abortion
Unplanned pregnancy, impossible to negotiate future, financial instability, relationship problems
These are some of the reasons youths do engage in abortion but regardless of these reasons, societal views and perceptions about abortion has cease to change, we are quick to judge, not considering the circumstances surrounding the person’s actions or the challenges they will face when the child is born or being forced into an unplanned marriage .
Youths have paid for abortion by suffering lifelong social boycotts, Isolation, ostrcization, humiliation, patronizing attitude as well as forced marriages,
Abortion stigma begins the moment one realized she is pregnant and perhaps not ready to nurture the child or not ready for parental hood.
Abortion related stigma has been identified as one of the key drivers in silencing young people ability to reproductive health and right choice leading to seeking to an unsafe abortion among youths.
Girls whom are suspected of an abortion , the society subject them to ridicule, , they are labeled as killers , some families will restrict their girl child from associating with such persons , where they are seen as a bad influence to other girls in the environment , they are considered poor candidate for marriage ,while some abortion can be used as blackmail , where the abuser maintains an abusive control by threatening to betray the girls secret by sharing truth with families and friends .
These days, the stigma surrounding abortion don’t even allow girls to relate with their parents or guardians when they get pregnant, all because of the perception and situation regarding abortion of some parents, which all these and many more drives the girl child to having an unsafe abortion, applying traditional methods like potash and dry gin, lemon and dry gin ,alligator pepper mixed with Ghana pepper and dry gin to mention but a few, knowing how harmful these concoctions can be in the sexual reproductive organs .
Parents /guardians should realize that unwanted pregnancy can destroy the future of a girl child if not planned out, even the boy, at some point the boy have to start acting as a father where he is expected to provide the needs of both the mother and the child when there’s no means of income, then he have to drop out from school at early stage, start experiencing suffering , dreams cut short ,depression sets in and at this point might lead to stealing and he is tagged an ‘’Armed robber’’.
Parents depriving the youth from negotiating their sexual reproductive health and right choice, not being able to negotiate their future with them can cause harm psychologically, physically and financially in the future.
Parents shouldn’t force the youths into unplanned marriage all because of unwanted pregnancy, rather in such case abortion should be initiated.
Parents should understand the word ‘’sex ‘’( sexual intercourse) is an inevitable act among youths which result to unwanted pregnancy due to unprotected sexual act , though sex education is to be assured for every child age 5-18 , parents should always learn how to initiate condoms to their children when there’s no control over sexual urge .parents should understands that unwanted pregnancy doesn’t actually proves that the girl child is an irresponsible child but at that point abortion should be encouraged in order to save the life of the child and also protect their future .
My abortion, my life works toward a world without stigma, if only women who have had abortion can kick against abortion stigma, the cycle of silence and shame would be broken.