Due to the fact that the anatomy of the teenage girl is still undergoing the process of maturity, abortion is considered too hazardous for girls within the teen bracket. Ruth ChojI writes that despite the hazards associated with abortion at this stage, teen girls continue to
Brenda Adewale was in Junior Secondary School 2 when she had her first abortion. The then 12-years-old teenager disclosed that, but for her mother and elder sister, she would have been a mother of a teenager by now. “I had sex with one of my seniors in school whom I was dating. I didn’t even know I was pregnant until I noticed the symptoms about two months later. I told my friend then, who advised me to drink bitter leaf water, I did and it didn’t work. She also advised me to drink detergent water in a cup which I did, yet the stubborn pregnancy refused to come out. Finally I met my cousin’s girlfriend, Bose who was older than me and more experienced. I lied to her that, my friend needed to know what she will take to flush out two months pregnancy. She told me to buy some drugs and a big bottle of hot drink in the night before I go to bed. I would have done it but for the fact that she went and told my cousin whom she was dating then, who in turn informed my mother and they made me to bring my urine for a malaria test. I did and some few days later, I was taken to the doctor’s house where the doctor told me I was almost three months gone. He asked me what I have taken and when I told him, he screamed and warned me never to try such again. He gave me injections and when I woke up, I saw traces of blood and big tissue in my private part. I was told to rest and drugs were given to my elder sister to give me when we get home. That was the genesis of series of D and Cs and abortion in my life. Before I finally got married at the age of 31years, I had aborted seven pregnancies. My mother had to put me on compulsory birth control pills. I just want to thank God that, in spite of it all, I was able to conceive and bring forth three children”.
Anita Idahosa, (not real names) an undergraduate who has had series of abortion said “there is nothing wrong in having a D and C now. After all the thing has not formed into a real human being, so what is the big deal? It started when I was in secondary school. I now have abortion because this way, they will induce the pregnancy and make it like labour; which was easier and safer for me. I keep taking in because I don’t care for pills and other preventive methods. My boyfriend too likes it natural, so taking in became inevitable. My case was made worst because I still sleep with my boyfriend the same day after I had a D and C; so the thing just keeps going and going my boyfriend was responsible for my education and everything, so if he doesn’t want to use condom, will I force him?”
Even though abortion is not legal in Nigeria, it is common knowledge, both qualified and unqualified doctors engage in it with impunity and research has shown that most of their customers are teenagers who are just beginning to explore the world of sex. While most teenagers don’t care about the danger teen abortion portend for them and their future, some are of the opinion that abortion be legalized in Nigerian. But whatever side of the coin you look at it, there are peculiar health hazards associated teenage abortion.
Dr Lami Yunusa, a gynecologist said “You will be amaze to know the number of teenagers that are brought to hospitals for abortion or D and C by parents and guardians. The rate is quite alarming and for teen pregnancy, the problem is always, they are pregnant and they are not prepared for it, or they will bring shame to their families. Teen pregnancy is generally defined as pregnancy occurring in a young woman between the ages of 13 and 17, or in anyone who is not legally considered an adult. And these have consequences parent don’t even care about. Some of the negative effects include death, because their bodies are still developing. There are lots of complication and these could be hemorrhage, sepsis and injuries to pelvic and intra-abdominal.”
Dr Bola Adewale, a psychologist also stated that “Most teenagers that indulge in abortion don’t often know the dangers and psychological effects of what they are doing. The abortion causes reactions such as depression, anger, and substance abuse. Sadly, most parents would rather abort their daughter’s pregnancy to avoid shame than face reality. But the truth is that, abortion is fraught with dangers and risks, especially for teenagers who suffer both physical and psychological complications”.
Pastor Henry Godwills of the a pentecostal church in Abuja concurs by stating that, “abortion is not accepted in Christianity and there are verses like Jeremiah 1:5 which talks about how we were formed in the womb. Exodus 21:22-25 has the punishment meted out to anyone who kills another human being, also Psalms 139:13-16. Even in the case of rape, God did not permit us to terminate the life because the child ultimately is innocent of how he was conceived, but how you train him matters”.
Ustaz Abdullaziz Ganiyu, a Muslim cleric stated that ‘‘We don’t condone abortion in Islam; it is an abomination against God and humanity. Islam values human life. This is clearly expressed in the Qur’an where we are told that in the sight of God killing a human is a very serious matter (see Qur’an 5:32). The Qur’an teaches that on the Day of Judgment parents who killed their children will be under trial for that crime, and their children will be witnesses against them (see Qur’an 81:8-the Qur’an says: Do not slay your children for fear of poverty. We shall provide for them and for you (Qur’an 17:31).
“Most young girls abort because of shame and poverty but they forget that the Qur’an insists that Allah will provide sustenance for us and for our children, and furthermore that Allah has made human life sacred (see Qur’an 6:151).Even when it is a medical issue, the believer must know that Allah knows best.”