By Caesar Kaba Kogoziga , Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana

There is big a difference between advocating for women’s abortion rights and promoting abortions. In most countries, women’s right to safe abortion services is not yet respected. Mostly, abortion issues are subjected to religious, social and cultural stigma instead of subjectively discussing the realities our women face.

One thing the world must know is that everyone is not of the same religion and culture, but we cannot allow our cultures to interfere with human rights. People who are against abortion often forget to consider the right of the woman to life and her freedom to decide. The reality is that if we are dedicated to empowering women, then they must have the right and power to decide if and when to give birth. Unfortunately, no form of contraception is 100% successful, this means that access to safe abortion must be a priority in every country that understands the importance of reproductive health on the health of its population.

Abortion stigma will not scare people away from having sex for pleasure, it will only succeed in driving them to unsafe abortions with several complications including death. We must fight against misconceptions of abortion to save the lives of our girls and women. According to a study by WHO and the Guttmacher Institute published on the 28th of September 2017, Worldwide, 25 million unsafe abortions occur every year.

“When women and girls cannot access effective contraception and safe abortion services, there are serious consequences for their own health and that of their families. This should not happen. But despite recent advances in technology and evidence, too many unsafe abortions still occur, and too many women continue to suffer and die.” -Dr Bela Ganatra of the WHO.

Abortion stigma is a major cause of the high numbers of unsafe abortions around the world. Anyone who understands and supports contraceptives use cannot run away from safe abortion

Sex for pleasure is inevitable, unplanned pregnancies may be unavoidable, but deaths through unsafe abortions can be prevented by giving our women stigma free abortion services.

The next time you stigmatize abortion and judge people who opt out of pregnancy, remember all the adults that abortion stigma has killed.

 

*Image Copyright: IPPF/Caroline Penn

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