Abortion is the termination of pregnancy before foetus is viable. It can be spontaneous or induced. A spontaneous abortion happens naturally and is also known as a miscarriage, while induced abortions are done artificially either medically or surgically.
The laws that governs abortion in Ghana state’s that a foetus is viable by the 24th week. It also state’s that an abortion can only be induced under these conditions :
1. The pregnancy is due to incest.
2. The pregnancy is due to rape.
3. The pregnant woman is mentally unstable.
4. The pregnancy is life threatening to mother.
5. The child will be able to live a meaningful life.
Safe abortion is governed by the Protocols of Comprehensive Abortion Care and is done by a registered skilled health personnel in a qualified facility or hospital.
However, situations like fear of stigma, financial instability, low social standard and inadequate knowledge about reproductive health leads many women to opt for an unsafe abortion. An unsafe abortion is done by an unskilled personnel with hazardous equipments and in an unqualified facility. Most young woman also use unprescribed medications or use local concoctions to terminate their pregnancies. While others frequently use emergency contraceptives pills to prevent pregnancy.
Since an unsafe abortion is life threatening, a sexually active woman is advice to visit the hospital for guidance in choosing the right family planning method. Moreover, one can abstain from sex or use condom during sexual intercourse to reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies.
Rachael Naa Koshie Lamptey