Unsafe abortion practices becoming common in Malawi

By Staff Writer

It has emerged that, behind the eyes of abortion criminalization, a lot of girls and women in Malawi are using very risky ways in terminating their unwanted pregnancies.

Akometsi news desk has established that while other ladies use wires and soap to discard their pregnancies, others overdose antibiotics for the exercise.

We caught up with one of the girls in Mzuzu who had survived a looming death that would have claimed her life after taking thirty pills of some antibiotics to get rid of her pregnancy. In this story, for the sake of protecting her identity, she will be called Maria.

“I got impregnated by one of my classmate at school. It’s after he had rejected to accept the responsibility that I resorted to terminating it,” she said.

“Of course, that was when other girls had already aborted several times using soap and other drugs. So, I didn’t fear much. It seemed normal,” she added.

According to Maria, the decision to terminate the pregnancy was also motivated by threats that she’d loose her place at the school and, and also feared her fierce father at home.

“So, all of this influenced me in doing it. My father would have skinned me alive. He is the kind of a father who is a no nonsense. So, my friends encouraged me to get rid of the zygote and proceed with my studies,” said Maria.

The 18 year old girl who, by then, was expected to sit for her Malawi Schools Certificate of Education (MSCE) exams took pills from one of her friend who, she said, had plenty of antibiotics.

“She gave me about 49 but I used 30,” she recalled. “In no time. Things began to happen in my stomach. I felt so much ache. Then, blood began to come out from my private parts.”

According to her, “that’s when friends told her to go to the toilet and wait for everything to come out from her uterus.”

“My friends who were outside the toilet broke inside. That is when, after they saw my situation, they reported to our matron who took me to the hospital,” she said.

“There,” she added. “I spent two weeks. They cleaned me and even so, up to now, my stomach is not normal. I still feel grave pains at times. I don’t know if everything is alright therein.”

Maria, who revealed, during the interview, that she has witnessed girls aborting using wires and soap makes her join the heated debate on the legalization of abortion in Malawi.

“I propose the idea. It’s better to legalize it because even without that, girls still abort using risky ways like the one I used,” she said.

Health rights activists are spearheading the tabling of a bill in Parliament that would allow girls and women to be carrying out safe abortions in hospitals.

According to this school of thought, legalization of the procedure will save a lot of girls who are dying as a result of using unsafe ways of abortion behind the scenes.

However, the faith community is against the decision saying, abortion is murder and God hates it. All churches are strongly condemning the idea and are, meanwhile, advising legislators to discard the bill.


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