In sub-Saharan Africa, it was estimated that 52 million never-married women were sexually active and in need of contraceptives to prevent pregnancy in 2012, yet only about half of the number were using modern contraceptive methods. Use of modern contraceptives to protect against sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy, and mortality due to unsafe abortion is low in many African countries among sexually active women. Access is even lower for adolescent girls and young women.
Kenya ranks third in the world among countries with the highest teenage pregnancies. Half of the unintended, unwanted teenage pregnancies end up in unsafe abortions. According to the Ministry of Health, there were 45,725 pregnancies among 10-19 year old girls between January and February 2022.
Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa.
The morality conversation and religion should not be at the forefront of the conversations on sexual reproductive health and rights for all persons. Women and girls and all people who can get pregnant should determine their reproductive futures. The better conversation would focus on solutions such as curbing teenage pregnancies by ensuring adolescents have age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education for them to make informed choices.
SOURCES: Standard Media, by Esther Kimani, 28 November 2022 ; PHOTO: Human Rights Watch , 2018. WATCH THE VIDEO !