When abortion is a good thing – Peju Akande

When abortion is a good thing – Peju Akande


That’s the word bugging me right now.

Some call it murder. Others call it a procedure

I’m not here as judge, you see, nobody died and made me judge. Abortion is a thorny issue, whether intentional or not, it’s one act we may have engaged in or contemplated at one point or the other and the decision often includes the men in our lives. So my question today is – to abort or not to abort?

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My first encounter with an abortion or the act and the word in itself was while in secondary school. We woke up one morning and right there was an aborted fetus in the bathroom. At that time, a good number of us students had never heard the word before not to talk of what it actually meant  (our biology teacher hadn’t got to that part of the syllabus, you see.) So, there we all stood looking at an aborted fetus in the bathroom and nobody knew who dropped it.

Afterwards, at the university, I heard it so often, it became part of our vocabulary in the girls’ hostels. There was always some girl talking about going for an abortion; but there was never any talk about preventing it.

Talk about abortion was always mixed with words like Postinor, Guinness stout mixed with potash, washing blue and bleach, yeah, mundane things, abi? These and various other kinds of concoctions were stuff any reasonable human being ought to know would tear out the intestines before it even got to the fetus. Yet, a good number of girls swallowed these mixtures in desperate bids to get rid of unwanted pregnancies with many regretting it while it was already too late. I remember a family friend who lost her life over a failed abortion.

Others resorted to quacks, often student doctors, lab technicians, auxiliary nurses or plain simple uneducated and uncouth chemist shop owners.

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Then now as an adult, I see friends in their forties, carrying babies and whispering to me, “This one na by chance, o. I’m on family planning; I don’t know how this big head made it through.”  We’d all laugh and wag our fingers at the obstinate infant, the one who defied family planning methods and made it to fertilization.

Was there a choice for abortion here? Maybe. Are there regrets, too? Maybe, I’m not the judge. So we won’t talk about the lives wasted in this process, the mother and the fetus, depends on how you want to see this. We won’t even dwell on the pieces of human flesh often flushed down the toilets, nor the breasts that begin to spout milk in anticipation, nor the womb that still moves; confused at the disruption of the life snatched abruptly from its warm embrace.  And really, is it a life? Is it human? Some say not, some say, of course, it is life, it is hope, it is boundless opportunities and it’s just been smashed… to death.

I had a wish once. A wish that I had aborted a fetus. It wasn’t mine but if it had been mine, I would have removed it without a second thought. The pregnancy was that of my of a very close member of my family. She had done a scan at five months and results showed a hydrocephalic and club footed fetus; meaning the eventual child would never sit, stand or walk and probably never see well. What’s more, the child would have a head twice its body weight, for life.

‘Remove it!’ I advised my family member. ‘Get rid of it fast!’ I was even ready to ‘sponsor’ the abortion.

But,  her ‘church mind’ spoke out. ‘No’, she said. “I’ll have this one.” She was scared and she needed for me to be strong and supportive but I couldn’t. The scan result had told me all I needed to know. I went to the internet and the information was more depressing. I couldn’t even be Christian enough to say, maybe there would be a miracle here.

I didn’t see any hope for this one, not here in Nigeria.

So we waited. And lo, a child came forth, an infant with a head the size of a medium sized pineapple, her eyes were slanted, very small nose and when we turned her, her spinal cord area didn’t close, it would be open for life, I’m told. She would ever be dependent on us- to eat, bathe, poo, urinate and crawl on all fours.

For how long? I asked the doctor again.

‘For life!’

Now tell me, would an abortion have been such a terrible thing?

source: http://www.teapartytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/abortion-debate1.jpg

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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  1. Ugo Chime

    Ugo Chime I’m strongly pro-choice, and the legalising of abortion in other to make it safe for women to procure. At the same time, I understand those who can’t bring themselves to undergo it. Those who are moralist towards it.

    I’ve been pregnant. I regarded him as a child, as a human being, from the moment I discovered I was pregnant. But 6 months after I had him, I thought for a frightful moment that I might be pregnant again. This suspect pregnancy I did not regard as a child. I was all set to remove it if it had been confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. I think, for me at least, wanting the child was what made the difference. Because I wanted pregnancy #1, it was a child to me. Because I didn’t want would-have-been pregnancy #2, it was merely a foetus.

    With abortion, I regard the wishes of the would-be mother as paramount above any other else’s. I always counsel that the decision whether or not to keep or get rid of it to be solemnly taken. It is not an easy decision to make, and whichever way you go, you’d wonder if it was really the right thing – it might have been the best decision at the moment you made it, but we always have a way of seeing things different in hindsight, don’t we (and that is for both those who go ahead to abort and those who choose to keep the pregnancy).

  2. Lydia

    Hmmmmm! I am short of words right now….. I think the question should be, are there exceptions to carryout abortion as stated in the bible? The truth is most times we tend to see things the way we choose, it all depends on the situation of things…….. In the eye of God there’s really no way out. Well….there are so many ways to it.May God help us in all, because we would most often consider abortion due to the circumstances/situations around the pregnancy……..(Like the story u gave, it’s possible God wants to teach the parent something through that child(as hard as it may seem…)….sooo……

  3. Joy Ehonwa

    Mehn, this one touched me o! I am strongly pro-life, but at the same time I understand those who have to procure abortions. I have encouraged many a distraught, pregnant woman contemplating abortion, and not one has looked at that child today and thought, “I wish I had aborted you.” When I was pregnant with my son I had a threatened miscarriage at 6 weeks. I had to be placed on total bed rest, not even allowed to go to the loo. The placenta had detached. I bled so much, I was sure I would lose the pregnancy. I still can’t believe it when I look at him today. He is such an exceptional child and I know “what if we had lost him” could have been “what if we had aborted him” if I had been in a place in life to consider it.

    Yes, I am pro-life, but this woman whose scan showed these conditions? I would have paid for that abortion if she couldn’t afford it. My Creator knows me, I can’t even pretend if I wanted to. I would drive her to get the abortion and wait for her and drive her back home. I don’t know what it all means mehn, the thing is just somehow. Gosh. She made her choice and even though I’m wondering if that child sef would appreciate being born, I can’t blame this mother either.


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