Reggae artist, Nthsenge once sang Abortion is a Crime, but the words don’t quite ring a bell in the lives of many women who have procured one, a decision a majority would strongly stand by. In Kenya, abortion is not allowed, unless the need for emergency treatment or the life or health of the mother is in danger as advised by a trained health professional, yet backstreet abortions have been a leading cause of maternal deaths in the country.
According to a new study published in the academic journal Social Science & Medicine on Sunday, women who have aborted their children have no regrets for undergoing the procedure. For a period of five years, researchers surveyed 667 women across 21 states and about 95% of women indicated they believe that going through abortion was the right decision over the course of the study.
When asked if they had any emotions of sadness, guilt, relief, regret, anger or happiness over their decision, Relief was the most common emotion throughout the five years of the study. The women said that they experienced mixed emotions, directly after they have an abortion, declined over the first two years, but plateaued afterward, and decision rightness remained high and steady.
Last year, a United States federal judge on Tuesday blocked Alabama’s near-total abortion ban, stating that it violated the right of an individual to privacy, to make choices central to personal dignity and autonomy and at large diminished the capacity of women to act in society and to make reproductive decisions. This ruling did not augur well with anti-abortion activists claim that going through an abortion is a taxing decision and have been harsh abortion laws in place.
The study recommends that abortion counseling should switch gears to focus on helping women who have procured one cope with the stigma.