Pro-choice or pro-life is a very touchy subject for most people in the world and in Kenya, the story is no different. This topic often brings out a lot of emotions in people and can literally make you receive a punch on your face being on either side. Today I am going to silence the noise and just have an honest discussion on what truly is the best decision for any woman to make when she discovers she has an unwanted pregnancy.
In the pro-choice vs. pro-life debate, one side seems occupied with women’s rights, while the other is associated with saving babies. The truth is that merely associating one particular subject with each term is inaccurate. In reality, both pro-life and pro-choice motives and objectives are quite complex and diverse. Sadly, both terms are often overly simplified, leaving the one-party believing harsh misconceptions about the other.
There is nothing as heartbreaking as discovering that you are pregnant and you aren’t ready. You either aren’t financially or emotionally ready. And the thought of bringing a child into this cruel world makes you weak in your knees. Most often than not any woman in their reproductive age and is sexually active has experienced a pregnancy scare. And for sure bringing a child into this world unmarried and without a job is just not ideal.
A lot of people might argue that If you don’t have money or aren’t in a committed marriage what are you doing having unprotected sex. I believe this is true but they are some unfortunate instances such as rape, incest, contraceptive failing, etc. that do occur and a woman gets pregnant. In such a case what happens will you be pro-life or pro-choice?
So what are pro-choice and pro-life.
Pro-choice is the belief that everyone has the basic human right to decide when and whether to have children. When you say you’re pro-choice you’re telling people that you believe it’s OK for them to have the ability to choose abortion as an option for an unplanned pregnancy — even if you wouldn’t choose abortion for yourself.
While pro-life is the belief that all human life is valuable. Whether you are a zygote a preborn baby, a newborn, an elderly person, or someone with disabilities and special needs, your life matters. At its core, the pro-life movement is about the value and equality of all human beings.
Kenya is a country that believes in the Christian religion and whenever some people talk about abortion or pro-choice it is normally frowned upon. In fact, I have never heard of a Kenyan woman who has openly come out to say that she acquired an abortion because she wasn’t ready to be a parent. Yet according to statistics 55 out of 1000 women have gone through an abortion. And 500,000 abortions are reported every year. Meaning it is still taboo to loudly choose pro-choice.
One Kenyan pastor had a few things to say about abortion, “When a fetus is a human being, and if every human being is valuable to God, then abortion is murder. There is only one legitimate ground to take the life of an unborn child, namely to save the life of his/her mother, and so to prevent that both would die. But to be honest, this situation is very rare. I, therefore, would like to encourage our fellow sisters to believe in the power of the unknown and trust God’s plan.”
The debate on whether women should undergo an abortion is also very common on social media, and especially on Twitter. Very many hashtags have been created and promoted to both condemn and uphold the act. However, there has been a new study that has been released by Mozilla Foundation that found they were campaigns created to spread misinformation around the subject.
Between September and November 2021, a far-right Spanish organization gamed Twitter’s Trends algorithm and employed other popular disinformation tactics to influence that debate and push its conservative agenda in the country. The tweets were about the Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill pushing false information suggesting that the children of surrogates have increased behavioral issues. Other tweets attempted to stir up fears that the law would make Kenya “a baby manufacturing hub.”
Anti-abortion advocates also quickly rebranded the Reproductive Healthcare Bill as an “abortion bill,” though it would not have legalized abortion. According to the Mozilla report, CitizenGo amplified anti-abortion messaging, including hashtags targeting the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW), even after the Reproductive Healthcare Bill was tabled in 2020.
Activists argue that access to abortion is central to a woman’s ability to define and carry out her own life plan and that infringing upon this right has a foreseeable negative impact on a woman’s health that health professionals must seek to mitigate.
So, what really is the best decision for a young or old woman to make when faced with an unwanted pregnancy. The answer to this question may seem difficult but in reality, it really isn’t. It all bottles down to what are your values and what are you willing to lose in order to gain one thing or another. In my point of view they will never be a right or wrong answer to this question, a person just has to decide what is best for their mental state. If you choose pro-life go girl! If you choose pro-choice go girl! It is your life and you are the one to decide what happens in it.
Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life I believe everyone has a choice on whether to keep or not to keep a pregnancy. If you have ever experienced an unwanted pregnancy scare you know how extreme a person’s thoughts can go due to the uncertainties of life. Just remember to always be kind to everyone, whether pro-life or pro-choice.