As a parent would you subscribe to sitting and talking with your adolescent or young son or daughter about his or her contraceptive options? This question came up while in a meeting organized by the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Initiative (NURHI) to do a Net Mapping of Adolescent and youth (15-24years) family planning situation in Oyo State.
Hmmmn…it is one thing to have sexuality/sexual education talks with your growing child but another to actually now give him or her the option that seems to encourage engaging in sex. Being a mother I would want my children to abstain from sex until they are in a committed relationship (Marriage). My church mind believes in celibacy/chastity until marriage. And since I was successful at waiting until I tied the knot with the love of my life and😍 I would love to encourage my children to do same. Why would I want them to take the option of abstinence? Having sex means taking responsibility for the emotional complications and other things that could come up such as sexually transmitted diseases; becoming a young mother or father as a result of unplanned pregnancy and having to hold on from achieving their dreams should this happen.
However, the world is more complex than our own growing up years. Children are exposed to all kinds of sexual choices. As tough as it might seem, if a child becomes actively involved in sex in spite of all the abstinence preaching then it might be wise as a parent to educate your son/daughter about contraceptive options that will enable them to protect themselves against some of the consequences such as unplanned pregnancies and Swiss. As for the emotional issues that can occur, I don’t have a solution to for now.
When it comes to unplanned pregnancy many teenage girls and adolescent are at the receiving end. Young people are often experimental and therefore engage in sexual activities. Often when a girl has a baby growing in her womb she is still in school with her future still ahead of her. The baby becomes a threat to her achieving her dreams and goals and soon she and the father of the baby if he even accepts responsibility for the pregnancy decide to get rid of the baby through abortion.
There are alarming unsafe methods of aborting a pregnancy. Some girls use over- the – counter drugs, others swallow poisonous and corrosive substances that end up destroying their internal organs and leading to death sometimes. According to a research report published in the Guttmacher Institute Journal titled The Incidence of Abortion in Nigeria is estimated at 1.2million induced abortions as at 2012 amongst females ages 15 – 49. That is just too many!
We may need to change our stereotype minds and educate young people about their contraceptives options while also preaching abstinence and its benefits. This will help our adolescents to make informed choices and hopefully, they will make the right choices that will not hurt them and their future.
Amongst Facilitators were:
Stella Akinso – State Team Lead NURHI, Oyo State
Mallam Kabir Abdullahi – State Team Lead NURHI, Kaduna State
Barr. Oris Ikkideh
Adebisi Adetunji (C)
BusyBee Media for Social Change & Development
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