MY BODY, MY RULES , MY CHOICE

In Sierra Leone, the country with the world’s worst maternal mortality, abortion is illegal in nearly all circumstances and unsafe abortion is estimated to account for 10% of maternal deaths.

 

Last year, our President declared a war on rape. I wonder how many girls my age know that rape is a crime. Do I report Timothy to the Police? Won’t that land him into more trouble? Mama had always asked me to stay clear of visiting boys alone; technically then I am also at fault. What was I thinking? Strangely, I don’t feel terribly bad. He was quite convincing and very gentle with me. Maybe I should just lay this matter to rest and prepare for my exams.

She pushed back the rickety gate that led to their one room apartment; she could see Mrs. Coker scurrying to the shared latrine. She giggled, at how the prim and proper Madam lost it when nature calls. She liked watching her; she was always trying to keep up appearances. Very confident on the surface but seemed to care a lot about how other people felt.

It was a few hours into the morning, when she had the shrill. People where wailing, the sound was deafening. In the pit of her stomach, she knew something was gravely wrong. What could it be? Till today, she would never forget the sight that greeted her eyes, beautiful Mrs. Coker, mother to her playmates on the floor, her lappa drenched with blood, mouth in a grotesque shape and her eyes staring wildly into space. She needed no one to tell her, that she was dead.

Through the whispers she heard the dreaded word: ABORTION!  As a curious learner, she knew the word. It was one of those, like sex that you don’t talk about. You were expected to know what it meant and not do it. In school the next morning, all she could think about was the incident around abortion. The memory was so strong that, when Mr. Thaimu mentioned that everyone was to write an essay on controversial topics. She knew exactly what she was going to write about; abortion. Her neighbour had died, while trying to have one. She needed answers that nobody seemed prepared to give her. Everyone in her class gasped when she announced her topic, it was obvious that they were just as ignorant.

She created a survey that focused on the right to choose, the myths around contraception and abortion. Everyday brought her more compelling information as to how little people knew about the abortion process and its effects on society. She was more determined to learn more about the subject. In the data she collected, she pinned the following information to her twitter account:

  • Most women are scared of societal stigma and perceptions associated with contraception.

  • Young girls do not have access to information and skilled human resources that are required to discuss sexual reproductive health issues.

  • Religion plays a huge role in the discussions around abortion and contraception.

Her time, at the Library was extended searching for more information, data on groups that had forums that discussed these issues that might have some answers to her question:

Why is reproduction our choice and access to safe abortion fundamental?

Maybe it was asking the right questions on google that led her to https://safe2choose.org/

It was as if a light bulb went off in her brain, what a world of information on Safe2Choose.

Safe2choose is a social enterprise that is a part of an international movement for reproductive health and access to safe abortion.

Safe2choose is an online counseling and informational platform that supports women who want an abortion with pills or a surgical abortion, and when needed, refers them to trusted, trained and pro-choice healthcare providers.

Their team includes multilingual counselors, medical doctors and experts in the field of public health and international development that work together to provide you with accurate information about safe abortion. Their roles are to support and respect women to make their own decisions regarding their bodies and reproductive health.

You will need to get in touch with them to believe it yourself! Safe2choose provides scientific information and counseling through email and live chat about safe medical and surgical abortion.

She felt like she had finally found an ally, not only did she ace her writing paper but she got help herself. When she confirmed that she was pregnant through their platform, that helped her calculate the number of weeks of pregnancy. She spent time talking with a counselor who guided her through the next steps. Suddenly she knew what this meant ‘My Body, My rules’

If you were chanced enough to see this heroine’s paper on abortion; these data backed facts from The World Health Organisation, will leave you distressed and in search for more answers. Do we continue in this vain, or should we seek change:

  • Around 7 million women are admitted to hospitals every year in developing countries, as a result of unsafe abortion.

  • The annual cost of treating major complications from unsafe abortion is estimated at US$ 553 million. 

  • There were 35 induced abortions per 1000 women aged between 15–44 years.

  • 25% of all pregnancies ended in an induced abortion.

  • Almost every abortion death and disability could be prevented through sexuality education, use of effective contraception, provision of safe, legal induced abortion, and timely care for complications.

Do not let your fears choose your destiny


It’s Safe to Choose : Find out how by clicking on this link : https://safe2choose.org/

 

Written by: arianadiaries

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