Basotho must tackle debate on abortion

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THE Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association (LPPA) is a non-profit making organisation established in 1968.

It became an affiliate of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in 1974.

The organization has a strategic focus on the five thematic areas, mainly, access, advocacy, HIV and AIDS, adolescence, and abortion.

In these five areas we seek to promote the provision of quality sexual and reproductive health information and services for men, women and youth.

The above mentioned thematic areas are all important for the health of the community; but for the purpose of this exercise we shall focus on the last.

Abortion is one of the most controversial issues of our time.

It is a well-known fact that abortion is a reality and it is a problem that contributes to the large numbers of maternal deaths worldwide.

Researchers have shown that 90 women and girls in Africa die every day due to complications brought about by abortion.

It has also been revealed that unsafe abortion cases account for 16 percent of all patients admitted to gynaecological wards of major hospitals in the country.

This shows that not only is abortion a health issue but also an economic issue that touches on the limited resources of the nation.

Abortion is a long standing problem that is culturally and traditionally difficult to address.

There is a silence around this issue and as a result nobody wants to face it, even the victim’s themselves do not feel comfortable to talk openly about their suffering resulting in thousands of women and girls dying in silence. 

How many more lives should be lost while we are merely spectators? The time has come to speak out and to enter into serious dialogue about this important health issue.

Abortion is a sensitive issue. It often raises a moral dilemma for individuals and hence people have different opinions.

Many are against any termination of pregnancy regardless of the circumstances while others, who are pro-choice, believe that women have a right to control their own bodies and to decide the future of their pregnancies.

Up to now, there is definitely no clear indication on who is right or who is wrong.

What is definite is that something has to be done to address the number of women and girls who fall sick or die because of abortion-related complications whether induced or spontaneous, legal or illegal, complete or incomplete.

The Association sees the nation – you and me – having responsibility to decide what is best for everyone in order to influence necessary reforms and implement appropriate programmes.

Our inputs as individuals shape the future and our contribution in the debate on abortion will determine how and when this crucial problem can be tackled.

Every Mosotho should therefore feel challenged to put both arguments pro-life and pro-choice on a scale, see which side is heavier, but most importantly ensure that one’s opinion is heard by the right ears, at the right time and in the right place. LPPA is therefore requesting people to submit their opinions about this issue to join the debate on abortion in an attempt to stimulate discussions and ultimately come up with an appropriate solution to this heartbreaking issue.

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