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University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria

OPINION

By Abdulganiyu Naimat __________________________________

So I was scrolling through pictures on Instagram page on a fateful day when I stumbled on a complelling picture with a caption: “make abortion legal”. This caption cuddled up with other expressions to back up the writer’s stance on the subject. But guess what? I share similar sentiment with the majority of the commentators who’re vehemently against the topic, and I could only imagine how aching that was for whoever posted it there. I’ve never been an advocate of abortion and I will never be! Religious sentiments added and excluded, I’d never encourage such a resolution.

I am not sure parents are aware of the consequence associated with giving birth to quite an outrageous number of children. Some may even say it is good to have many children because you tend to enjoy the fruity and juicy benefits that will come from each of the children when they come of age. Coming face-to-face with these people, I may not argue this stance, but I will be quick to ask if they have what it takes to cater for them all along, irrespective of their current economic status. I would desire to know If they have a glimpse of the future that awaits the children.

That is to even say the least; it’s a common knowledge that the future is not anyone’s to see. In this current situation of things in our country, I would be willing to meet anyone who could be bold to say what the future holds as these children pass through stages of life. I do not mean to sound pessimistic, nonetheless, all these queries are to put things in the right perspective before one should allow him/herself to be swayed into the same sentiment with those who advocate surplus child bearing.

To have a balanced point of view regardless of those advocating for excessive child bearing, it is important to take into consideration other possibilities. Doing so definitely will avail us the needed appraisal on the inherent implications — and otherwise — of giving birth to too many children especially by the less privileged parents vis-a-vis the aftermath effects on these poor, innocent children. But before delving further into that, it would interest us to note that this act of over-bloating childbearing is nearly a commonplace amongst the vile majority in the society.

Taking a look around us, let’s reminisce on the number of vulnerable children we have seen around today, either hawking along blaring streets, begging in the open spaces of our overpopulated places, or being even enslaved in the name of being helping in a household — we call this househelpmanship; we can go on and on. These instances of child abuse are not even the most appalling looking at the overwhelming shades of child abuses that have bedeviled our contemporary society. Have we thought about how these children are vulnerable to sexual abuse in the hands of sexual predators? How they are constantly exposed to harsh fate from the hands of paedophiles and other illicit sexual perpetrators? Have we thought about the number of children that have been used, presently being used and will still be used as time goes by by ritualists that are lurking around everywhere? Or how do we even imagine their case in the hands of those that have literally bought them from their parents or through agents (in most cases) only to objectify them and make them some mere domestic object of use? And in spite of this ignoble condition, painfully however helplessly they, in such an open cage, continue like this for as long as their ‘masters’ could still milk substance out of them till nothing is left for their own dear lives to make any meaning out of.

These, amongst many other ill fates, are what these children stand to suffer in the society that seems to have shifted attention from the fundamental rights of children. Except we want to be complacent about this, if this is allowed to fester by our indifference attitude towards having foresight in respect to how we bring children to the world, then we may be compounding problems for these children and the society at large.

Moreover, if we fail to abstain from it, and ignorantly bring them into this world without having concrete plannings for their immediate and subsequent welfarism, the consequences will be enormous such that it will be unpalatable for the society to even manage.

Let’s further think of other possibilities such as they being cut short in their prime; and by dint of divine fortune, being “lucky” by ways of cutting short of eternal happiness because of the preceding mental and traumatic effect they are subjected to after perpetual cruel acts by their predators and abusers that no doubt will continue to haunt them for the rest of their lives.

The more we could think of these things, the more agitated I think we should feel, and then hope this can be curbed real quick. These children are denied proper education. There is a yoruba adage that says “To omo re kole fun e ni isimi” (Train your child so that you won’t be denied peace by them). Some of these kids grow up to become hoodlums and resultantly become menace to the society starting from their immediate environment through all sorts of atrocities. Think of the times you as a parent would have to dash out to police stations to secure bails, and sometimes being subjected to taking diminishing undertakings just to safe face and your family from shame; Or of time you would be made to rush down to hospital either to settle bills occasioned by your child as result of his hooliganism or he could even be the victim of these atrocities.

The truth is they would not only be destroying their lives, they are denting the family’s image and their parent’s social reputations. Meanwhile all these happen because these parents take no precaution, shun factors that need to be well considered, and then go ahead to bring them into this world. Whereas adequate and substantive plans is often said to prevent improper upbringing of a child thereby forestalling any unprecedented danger of future.

As I have said, I am not an advocate of abortion and I do not subscribe to it ever being a wise idea on many grounds. Firstly, the risk that comes with it is unpredictable which often in many instances detrimental to the overall health of the undertaker. Our doctors are not God and we often hear them say they can only try. How then can anyone be so sure that the life of the mother is guaranteed either during the procedure of the abortion or afterwards of it? The fact is, it is a dangerous risk to take.

Moreso, why conceiving when you don’t have the intention of upbringing? Personally, I would say there is only a thin line between having abortion and committing murder. To put it clearly, having an abortion is equivalent to committing a killing. It is always the right way when our actions are therapeutic rather than curative. There are other options instead of having an abortion: Contraceptives and other preventive measures. No doubt, doubts may arise as to the efficacy of these precautionary measures, then putting you at the last option of you having to try family planning, then so be it!

To cap it all, in the bid to finding lasting solutions to forestall abortion, and at the same keep in check the possible overbloating population, government should put in place adequate legislations that will see to adjusting to a conventionally acceptable number of children bearing that is proportionate to the parents’ affordability. This effort as well should be laced with forehanded public sensitization and orientation on the multifaceted effects of giving birth to too many children. This legislation should be strictly followed up with adequate sanction. This is because the inherent lethal effects are not only on the children or the parents, it goes further to mount a stumbling block on the country’s economic growth.

Post Author: Ridhwan Abdullahi

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