Should abortion be legalised?

The Southern Province was last week on Tuesday in a state of shock when a 17 year old aborted a child and claimed that the foetus popped out and dropped into the latrine while she was having a long call.

The Southern Province was last week on Tuesday in a state of shock when a 17 year old aborted a child and claimed that the foetus popped out and dropped into the latrine while she was having a long call.

This however was believed by no one as her neighbours and friends say it was an intentional abortion. The friends revealed that the father of the soon to be born child was the one who encouraged her to abort.

The man who is believed to be about ten years the girl’s senior is on the run. 

Save for this particular case that was in the media, a lot of abortion cases in Rwanda widely go unnoticed and unreported due to it being an illegal practice in the country. Apparently there are some women personalities who want to legalise abortion.

They might be having their points for wanting to legalise it like in case of rape or for the sake of inconveniences like teenagers being consigned to a life sentence of joblessness, hopelessness and dependency due to unwanted pregnancies, but I choose to disagree with these arguments because abortion is murder in its own right.

The key argument for proponents of abortion is that a woman has a right to her own body.

This is a true and correct statement. All people have a right to do to their own bodies. However, the foetus, or unborn baby, is a distinct individual. Even though it resides inside its mother, it is a separate entity genetically.

Its DNA is completely its own, and different from its mother’s DNA. From the moment of conception, it is an entirely separate genetic individual.

Therefore, the argument in favour of abortion on demand, or abortion for convenience sake, that a woman has a right to do as she wishes to her own body, is not applicable to the question of abortion, since the mother’s body is different from that of her baby, or foetus. What matters is reason, reality, and life, not opinion. 

Regarding abortion for medical reasons where the mother’s life is in jeopardy that should be left to the discretion of the mother, family, and doctor.

It’s true, the mother and the unborn baby are still two separate individuals/entities, but under these difficult circumstances, it’s truly a personal decision for those directly involved.

It’s akin to a mother and child falling into dangerous river rapids and a family member or bystander must decide who to save. It’s a terrible decision that must be made.

Regardless of the decision, one life will be lost and one saved. This situation differs so fundamentally from abortion on demand, which is to kill the unborn baby for convenience, as opposed to choosing which life will be saved. 

Induced abortion presents many physical dangers, such as infection, anaesthesia overdose, and pelvic inflammatory disease. All these are health risks that are associated with abortion.

But beyond the physical dangers are the dangers that affect the mind of the woman who underwent induced abortion. Unlike physical dangers, the mental dangers are more complex and trickier to deal with.

Abortion disrupts the whole process of pregnancy, it goes against nature. And it will have adverse effects on the psychology of the woman. Some of the known adverse effects of abortion are depression.

Depression is an emotion which is associated with failed events, such as the death of a loved one. Normally, people bounce back from a period of depression and get on with their lives.

But for women who had an abortion, the depression lasts longer. This depression is accompanied by guilt, which comes from the possibility that the abortion killed a growing baby. 

Using forceps during abortion can severely damage the uterus. Another life-threatening danger of abortion is cancer and abortion can also lead to a miscarriage when the woman who underwent abortion finally decides to have a child later in life. 

Describing abortion as a health risk is an understatement. Abortion is simply, extremely dangerous. However, abortion in cases of rape and/or incest should be treated as abortion for medical reasons but this should be proved beyond reasonable doubt that the pregnancy was unwanted and forced. 

Otherwise if abortion is legalised then a lot of people would take unhealthy advantage of this unnecessarily.  

Abortion is also religiously immoral and it is viewed by the religious world as murder.

Emphasis should be put on family planning counselling, sex education and contraception in order to avoid unwanted pregnancies in the first place.



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