800 abortions occur in Uganda everyday as revealed by Dr Charles Kiggundu, senior Gynecologist at Mulago hospital. It is also true that many young people in school become sexually active at the university. Though LinkmeUg’s research shows that condoms are the contraception of choice for most university students, they are not consistently used resulting into unwanted pregnancies and abortions.
LinkmeUg’s Sharon Muzaki spoke to some students about why campus girls abort.
James: [2nd year] A baby is expensive; so if I don’t have a job, I don’t expect my girlfriend to get pregnant and abortion will be my way back on track.
Olivia: [3rd year] Don’t judge us so harshly, girls get desperate and when you are up against the wall anything to solve the problem is welcome. Many of our boyfriends walk out on us when we get pregnant. Many will tell you, “How sure am I you have not been sleeping around?” What is a girl supposed to do?
Cissy: [3rd year] Some times it’s peer pressure. Usually when a girl tells a friend that she is pregnant, abortion is offered as the first solution for her out of the situation; she is told of how having a baby will damage her image among her friends, damage her body, or prevent her from getting a better man. They even offer to contribute the money and accompany you to the clinic. To the people who judge us, this may seem like negative advise but usually it’s the only the support a girl has.
Allen: [2nd year] I would keep my baby I feel mature enough to have a baby though still at school in my last semester. I think abortion its not right at all and It will be killing myself and someone else.
Rachael: [1st year] If my boyfriend is willing to support me, I will keep the baby but if he denies the pregnancy, I will abort it, life has to move on.
Grace: [2nd year] No, I totally disagree with abortions. It destroys one emotionally and psychologically.
Eric: [2nd] She will have to abort. I am not yet ready for responsibilities. I have years to go to have children. That’s why I have protected sex always.
Rita: [3rd year] If my boyfriend supports me then I will keep the baby but if he doesn’t, why would I want to carry the burden alone? Abortion helps you continue with your life.
Patricia: [2nd Year] My parents are too harsh. If I got pregnant, my father would stop paying my tuition, that i am sure. And my mum, she would cry and be ashamed of me. So if I got pregnant, I wouldn’t think twice about aborting.
Liz: [1st year] The only time I would abort is if I was raped. You people can’t expect me to live with a reminder of that rape all my life, no way! But I think I can handle another baby.
Martin: [4th year] We abort because of fear. Fear of the girls’ parents and our own. Suppose she brings the kid and damps it at my parents’ house?
Damali: [2nd year] The negative attitude from the community pushes us to abort. Neighbours and relatives will scorn you if you get pregnant while at home. You become the yardstick when people are advising their daughters. Abortions saves us the embarrassment.
Jacob: Probably if we knew how dangerous abortion is we wouldn’t push our girlfriends into it.
Jacob raises the issue of limited information and that’s exactly what the LinkmeUg doctor Dr. Yvette Wibabara was ready to provide when we visited her.
LinkmeUg: Is abortion legal in Uganda?
Dr. Yvette Wibabara: No, its illegal but many girls access them everyday.
LinkmeUg: Can my doctor refuse to refer me for an abortion?
Dr. Yvette Wibabara: Yes, a doctor or a nurse who follows the ethics
has the right to refuse to take part in abortion if they do not
believe in it.
LinkmeUg: What does an abortion involve?
Dr. Yvette Wibabara: In simple terms, it involves the removal of a foetus from the uterus.
LinkmeUg: Is it painful?
Dr. Yvette Wibabara: Yes it’s very painful, you will have period-like pain and discomfort.
Linkme Ug: Are there risks at the time of abortion?
Dr. Yvette Wibabara: There might be excessive bleeding in case the cervix is damaged. Some girls even require further treatment such as blood transfusion and surgery.
LinkmeUg: Are there risks after abortion?
Dr. Yvette Wibabara: Abortions are very risky. Most girls get infection and in some cases the abortion may fail to remove the pregnancy.
- Pain in lower abdomen that doesn’t improve with simple pain relief
- Unusual smelly discharge
- Persistent bleeding
- Feeling unwell
- A high temperature and other pregnancy symptoms such as nausea.
- Sore breasts.
You can experience many feelings after an abortion. Sadness, regret, guilt it all depends on the circumstances and reasons for having an abortion.
Linkme Ug: How long will I bleed for after the abortion
Dr. Yvette Wibabara: It depends on the abortion method, some bleed for long periods of time and some don’t have much bleeding at all
LinkmeUg: Will abortion affect my chances of having a baby in the future?
Dr. Yvette Wibabara: Yes if there are injures to the uterus or cervix or
serious infection. You risk not conceiving again.
Linkme Ug: How soon after abortion should I start using contraception?
Dr. Yvette Wibabara: The normal fertility is immediate. If you do not
want to get pregnant, you should start using contraception.
The clinic should be able to give information and advice about
contraception and provide your preferred choice.
Come to International Medical Clinic for contraception options and other health services, we provides confidential advice and information.
Dr Yvette Wibabara
International Medical Link
Afri-courts, Buganda Road
Behind Wandegeya police station
Abortion like other developments in our lives is a choice to make but one more costly and more troublesome than deciding to use contraception.
LinkmeUg Health Reporter.