The World Health Organization (WHO) says there are 73 million induced abortions yearly—or six out of 10 (61 per cent) of unintended pregnancies and three of 10 (29 per cent) of pregnancies.
Cases of abortions in Kenya, done willingly or unwillingly, are alarming. A doctor can authorise an abortion if necessary—like when the life of the mother is in danger and chances of survival of the unborn low.
The main cause of abortion among the youth is fear of disownment by their parents. Some six out of 10 terminate the pregnancy due to fear instilled in them by their parents.
Ironically, parents should be the ones engaging in parent-child talks to educate the young one about the dangers in the outside world and the cost of being a single mother at a tender age, among other things.
But parents have absconded. Instead of dispensing the right information, they threaten the child that if they get pregnant they’ll be banished by the family.
The child may not know the reasons for such a threat, simply because she wasn’t informed of the dangers but just given an answer without the ‘workings’.
The first thought that comes to the child’s mind after getting pregnant is to terminate it through abortion, cutting short the life of the unborn child.
A teenager may also get into a relationship due to poverty; she can’t afford money to buy basic feminine items like sanitary towels. The result is often pregnancy. She will thus opt for abortion simply because the man involved denied responsibility.
Parents can combat teen pregnancy and unsafe abortion. Being the first people the child is likely to seek advice from, they ought to be friendly to them.
Marion Awino, Kakamega