A. Ngigi. “Why Do Girls Seek Abortions?” Step, 7(6). Nairobi, Kenya.
“In our present world,” this author writes, “unwanted pregnancies, which in the days of our ancestors were a serious family matter, have become a commonplace issue. Our society seems to have been hit by a sudden fit of rapid demoralization. But though usual for immoral girls to expect pregnancies, a prevailing number are resorting to abortion and even more appalling, suicide.”
Friends and Society
According to the author, “When a girl gets pregnant out of wedlock, it is natural for instant panic to seize her. She gets pretty nervous once she realizes that people have been taking note and talking about her misfortune.”
One young lady from Lower Kabete (Kenya) shares:
I was so much worried and embarrassed. Even before it was visible, I felt everyone was aware of it and each time my mother frowned, looked at me closely or pointed at me, I was always expecting her to ask if I was all right.
Additionally, notes Ngigi, “Friends, who should be most helpful through these times, give bad advice or no advice at all.
“When the sincerity of men is only skin deep, girls end up as losers,” suggests the author. After several years of what appeared to be a mutually beneficial relationship, a young pregnant women complains,
The guy told me to go to hell and lied he didn’t know me. Even after four years of a seemingly smooth affair he dared claim he had never set eyes on me! And from my friends! They no longer yearned for my company-the company of a ‘loose girl.’
Another pregnant young woman says, “My lover provided me with some tablets, suggesting they could help me abort. But God is great and He helped me overcome my emotions.”
Adds the author, “The indifference shown by most men when they impregnate girls out of wedlock is evidenced by the foolish ideas they put into the girls’ minds. False assurance from these men, that all will be all right, tempts many girls to follow the trend to have an abortion.”
“The intensity with which some girls love a man may result in fatal decisions. Love, when aggravated by despair, can lead one to take any action,” Ngigi notes. One young woman tried to take her life after her lover disowned her. This suicide attempt produced an abnormal baby making her life still more complicated. Yet, she still reveals that she “greatly loved” this man and hopes they could one day marry-a sentiment he apparently does not share.
Critical and Uncaring Parents
Ngigi continues, “Parents are often the strongest factors that drive girls to prostitution, abortion, or suicide. From those I interviewed, the general summary was: ‘My parents’ reactions account for most of the grief and decisions.’…Most fathers erupt in unfair reaction, threatening both mother and daughter.” As one young girl says,
I thought that though pregnant, I was altogether lucky because my father is a priest. But I was kidding myself. Instead of the calm, God-loving father I had known, I encountered a harsh, angry stranger. Out of fear he put into us, my mother arranged and financed my abortion. My father had threatened that if I gave birth while still under his care he wouldn’t hesitate throwing my mother and me out of the house, since it was bringing the devil into his homestead.
Another young woman, a cousin of the author, describes the scenes in her home:
My parents had numerous fights over me. Father blamed mother even more than he condemned me. It only made me feel more desperate and guilty. It was on one of those occasions that I felt a sudden urge to kill myself. My father used to drink alcohol and come home in a terrible mood. Then he would threaten to kill me if I didn’t get out. I felt desperate and disappointed. While my parents were mistreating me, my lover disowned me, and all the villagers talked of the girl who was cheated by a man.
Ngigi sums, “While some mothers scold and upset the victims out of fury, some fathers send them out, leaving them at the mercy of cold, fright, and loneliness…One interviewee claimed it was her mother who drove her into aborting…A desperate girl could easily be driven to the thought of abortion in order to please the parents or provoke the man responsible.”
No one suggests that pregnant unmarried women do not carry responsibilities for their situation. But this writer urges us to ask a further question of girls who attempt suicide or choose abortions: “Who could have driven her to it?”
- None can dispute the passing of traditional ways and norms along with the increase of pregnancy and abortion in modern society. The weakening of social restraint demands a strengthening of personal responsibility. Yet, many schools, churches, and youth organizations place inadequate importance on sex education and moral training.
- Discussion and education cannot be limited to young women. Young men must be taught responsibility-in their sexual activity and in the responsibility they assume for any of their actions. Parents-even in professional and religious fields-need instruction and encouragement in communication and support of children with problems.
© 2017 CYS