Abortion: Why the controversy will persist

4 days ago | 162

Abortion (Photo. 132healthwise.com)

Despite the harmful effects of abortion, its practice has remained controversial due to the diverse issues associated with it. Unfortunately, the different laws in place in the country, the varied opinions and interpretations of the different publics, religions and cultures on abortion make it a difficult subject to tackle in a plural society such as ours.

By Kennedy Nnamani

ONE would say that it is sarcastic knowing that what abortion is to a man differs from the meaning that another man reads to it. To the religious group, abortion is a moral topic, while it is an ethical issue in the hands of medical practitioners, who feel that life is involved and to some, it is a banal practice to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy for some personal and “justifiable” reasons.

In Nigeria for instance, abortion laws that obtain in northern part of the country differ from the laws in the South. While the Penal Code (in section 232, 233 and 234) is for the North, the Criminal Code (in sections 228, 229, and 230) is for southern Nigeria. However, it is a severe and punishable offense. The only common ground where it is legal is when it endangers the life of the mother. Although some churches still hold tenaciously to no-abortion doctrine, no matter the situation.

However, the preference to a specific gender of child raises a big question in the heart of people as some cultures would prefer to wave gender-preference when it has to do with abortion issue.

Abortion which Wikipedia and Britanica prefer to see as the termination of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus and the expulsion of a fetus from the uterus before it has reached the stage of viability respectively has over time attracted opinions from all walks of life.

Recently, following the U.S Supreme Court’s ruling on the issues of abortion nationwide, Amazon announced that it will pay up to $4,000 to its U.S. employees who have to travel for abortions, making it the most recent company to respond to the issues of abortion after Citigroup Incorporation and Yelp Incorporation.

Since abortion is a punishable offense in Nigeria and some other parts of the world, many women resort to unsafe abortion methods, which lead to abortion-related complications and increasing maternal mortality rates in the country.

A Lagos based medical professional, who wants to remain anonymous, lamented that the societal, cultural and religious disposition to this issue are contributing hugely to health problems resulting from induced abortion.

“I am not encouraging young girls to be careless; however, when a mistake is made, and they do not have access to proper medical care, they resort to unskilled providers or self-induce the abortion,” he said.

Charity Dauda, a young medical lab scientist stated that there could be some reasons why someone may want abortion, but if this reason is a threat to life or mental health, it would be better to give a go to the act.

“Imagine someone who has been raped by an unidentified criminal and gets pregnant would you advice the person to keep the child?” she asked.

“So I think people should be allowed to decide what they want to do in this matter as it is a relative issue,” she concluded.

A 20-year old young lady told Realnews that she had an abortion after she became pregnant to a drug addict, who died shortly after she became pregnant. She noted that she could not keep and care for the child as she was struggling to pay her school fees all by herself.

“I regretted my mistakes in the first place, but how can I keep the child when I cannot even feed well. I lost my parents some years back and I don’t even have anyone who would help me take care of the baby. I couldn’t bring an innocent soul to suffer in this world,” she said.

But some religious faithful severely frown at it, arguing that “one who cannot give life should not take it either”.

According to Paschal Aneh, a member of a popular religious group, abortion should never be an option.

“It is better for young girls and boys to hold themselves, but if they cannot, then they should get married and make love as much as they like.

“An abortionist is a killer and murderer and a child of the devil. This should never be preached in any way,” he said.

What could be the reasons why some countries accept it, while some others vehemently reject it, some cultures accept and some kick against it, some religious groups categorically disown it and some are complacent about it?

Perhaps, the issue of population check can be adduced for some countries like China or can it be for reasons of total freedom to human rights as can be traced to the United States of America? Why is it a taboo to some groups like blacks, who strongly believe in posterity and generational transfer of patrimony and name?

Meanwhile, some stakeholders are wondering that despite the controversies which the issue of abortion generates, it is still being taught in the medical schools. However, since there are moral and ethical issue involved in abortion, it will remain an unending controversial discourse.


- May 13, 2022 @ 14:41 GMT |


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