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Work towards ending deaths resulting from abortion

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Abortion is still illegal in Kenya unless advised otherwise by a medical doctor. [Courtesy]

We are so used to bad experiences that whenever a good opportunity shows up, we doubt its legitimacy. A lot of those bad experiences ought to teach us a few lessons. However, the question of whether we learn from those experiences is bothersome. Not long ago, I was appalled to learn that a father caused the untimely death of his daughter through abortion.

The media found out that the father forced the daughter to abort her baby because of financial constraints on his part. In spite of his apologies to the family and friends, one could not help but wonder what has become of society.

Does compassion still exist in our lifestyle’s dictionary? Abortion is still illegal in Kenya unless advised otherwise by a medical doctor, such as if lives of mother and baby are endangered.

The issue of unplanned pregnancies is not new in our country. In fact, cases have been on the rise. Many school-going girls get pregnant, some abort successfully, others die from such cases, and some get married off to cover the shame that comes with unplanned pregnancies.

Abortion is not only practised by teenage girls but also married women. Rape occurs in marriages especially when couples are not on good terms. As soon as the affected women discover they are pregnant, they opt for abortion, especially if the gender of the baby is not to the husband’s liking. So they do it to avoid marital conflicts.

Female students also do it claiming that their pregnancies would prevent them from progressing academically. Some argue that it would ‘kill’ their social status and destroy their hourglass figures. Such reasons make one wonder why abortion cases are still so rampant, yet there are available contraceptive methods.

Young girls should be taught how to relate with boys/men and to understand their bodies and changes in hormonal levels and most importantly, how to tame wild sexual feelings. Unfortunately, in most cases, one would find that some fathers are responsible for their daughters’ pregnancies. It is indeed so shameful an act. Sons and fathers ought to also have a man-to-man talk.

Mothers should be their daughters’ best friends such that whenever they are in crisis, they open up to them. However, it seems that the opposite is true in that most of our Kenyan mothers are teasingly labelled tigresses, double-edged swords, and make-no-mistake or-I-will-kill-you kind of mothers.

No doubt that most of us millennials grew up with such mothers but we had to live on. These girls should be taught how to dress decently, have standards of their own and respect themselves. As a result, it would be easy for them to identify sexual predators and how to dodge them. They will learn to understand the need to say no to premarital sex, abortion and use of birth control pills at a young age.

The government should come up with tough measures to eliminate quacks claiming to be medical doctors, especially in rural areas where girls easily fall prey. Those quacks still walk around villages, secretly selling lethal tablets to desperate girls, who wish that society’s perception of them as virgins remains constant.

Medical doctors who still illegally practise these acts should turn away any girl seeking to abort, posing the question, would they help their own daughters abort if they came seeking their help? What about medical ethics and oaths?

Ms. Tanui is a journalist



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