Feature Article of Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Columnist: Offeh-Gyimah, Abena Kwatemaa
Abena Kwatemaa Offeh-Gyimah
Abortion is a silent topic in the Ghanaian community. It almost seems forbidden to talk or even hiss about it. But the reality is most pregnant women whether married or unmarried face the difficult choice of keeping or aborting their unborn child. Abortion is more than just terminating a fetus, most women carry an emotional, mental and physical strain that often haunts them. This can be due in part to either going against their religious, cultural, family or personal values.
In our community, the topic of abortion is barely discussed within the family, or church organization, but the reality is, abortion is prevalent among the young women. Within the community, abortion is usually simplified as either “God does not like it,” or “you are going to hell,” but the issue is much more in depth than that. In today’s society, young women are taught to view abortion with a different lens. It involves the woman’s right to her body, her mental and emotional ability to prepare and raise a child, her financial circumstance or support, her relationship with God, and etc.
The subject of abortion needs to be discussed in the homes of every parent. It is important especially for families who have girls, and even if they don not, it is still imperative. If parents fail to discuss such issues with their youth, they will get the wrong information from else where. Sometimes, in the Ghanaian homes, parents feel or think because they are the authorative figure their children will most likely fear them and do as they say but modern society has taken a different route in shaping the growing youth.
Life has changed and society is no longer the same. Many young children have access to the internet and advice from friends that have little or no experience in life. It is the responsibility of parents to educate their children on these topics.
Sometimes, parents feel that when they discuss such topics with their children, they are giving them the right to indulge in it. However, it is important to provide your child with your perspective on this issue and why you may or may not agree with their point of view. It is usually preached that the children are the future but if the children are the future then the values of their parents should be passed on to build a better society. Today’s society is a very different society, children are taught to be free by doing as they please but without guidance and direction many children will inevitably make mistakes that will haunt them. It is important for us, as Ghanaians, both parents and youth to open up to each other and discuss issues that are central to raising our children and providing them with the tools to succeed in life.