A disturbing trend of women or young ladies using higher doses of Misoprostol to carry out abortion is on the rise. Misoprostol is a medication prescribed and administered by doctors to induce labor, treat stomach ulcers and used to treat postpartum (after delivery) bleeding. Although Misoprostol can be used t abort babies early in pregnancy, a report by Food and Drug Administration FDA establishes the fact that a few women have died from a severe infection after carrying out an abortion with vaginal Misoprostol and mifepristone. Other side effects that may occur from the use of misoprostol medication include stomach pain, diarrhea, vaginal bleeding. If you ask I will say consult your doctor and get medical advice before taking any drug.
Now the point of my discussion bothers on mistaking the misoprostol medication for a contraceptive method hence the rumor about Family Planning methods (FP)/contraceptives can be used for abortion. And trust our unenlightened populace and my African family who believe in having as many children as possible without regard for proper care for these children, it is an excuse to having more children even though they cannot afford to give them adequate care.
In a recent media chat with journalists and stakeholders from The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative, medical doctors from the primary health care and private sector, the issue of educating and giving people correct information about the importance of family planning methods to the wellbeing of women and families were brought to the front burner. The media was charged with the need to better educate people and dispel the wrong assertion that contraceptives cause abortion. This incorrect information is beginning to discourage women who would like to assess contraceptives in order to space births/rest in between births.
The State Team Lead for NURHI, Oyo state, Mrs. Stella Akinso explained that the campaign encouraging families to take on FP methods has greatly increased the contraceptive prevalence rate which has as contributed to a reduction in poverty. She added that over 1million abortion which occurs yearly are amongst young people. Many families at the community level and low-income earners are now able to decide on having only the number of children they can cater for; women are now able to pursue their business and career goals without fear of getting pregnant when they are not ready. She also went on to mention the various types of family planning methods injectable, pills, IUDs, male and female condoms, implants, Vasectomy, Tubal ligation all of which are meant to prevent pregnancy and not abort after conception.
Speaking also at the media chat Dr. Akin Sodipo, Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Oyo State branch, explained the terms “Abortion” and “Family Planning”. He defined abortion as the expulsion of product of conception from the reproductive tract of a woman either accidentally or intentionally. While defining FP as prevention of conception in any part of the woman’s reproductive organ By definition, therefore, family planning and abortion are not the same things. Contraceptives stop the infusion of the egg and sperm and therefore no baby is formed in the first place.
Dr. Muyideen Olatunji, Medical Officer for Health Akinyele LG in his contribution to the discus said that a lack of education and proper information can make people come up with a belief and idea. Therefore there is a need for the media to help sensitize and disabuse people’s mind about certain myths and misconceptions about FP. He added that “there are always three sides to a story/issue, your view, mine, and the truth”. The truth and facts about contraceptives are that it prevents pregnancy from occurring rather and not a means to abortion.
According to the World Health Organization:
- Family, Planning/Contraception reduces the need for abortion, especially unsafe abortion.
- Family planning reinforces people’s rights to determine the number of children and spacing f their children.
Adebisi Adetunji – Broadcast Journalist, Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Founder Beehyve Empowerment, and Development Initiative. Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – firstname.lastname@example.org