INSIDE NIGERIA: ABORTION, THE STIGMA OF PRE-MARITAL PREGNANCY & HYPOCRISY.

Posted: December 13, 2013 in Articles, INSIDE NIGERIA
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by Okoye Chukwudi Charles Ezeamalukwuo

Nkechi is a 21 year old mother. Unmarried and without any hope of getting married. She is what Nigerians refer to as a typical bad girl. A girl who gave birth outside wedlock. Her condition is very critical, from the stardom of the city she has been deported to the obscurity of the village to give birth. Far from preying eyes and judging tongues. Far from righteous people who warn their young female folks to avoid bad influence like Nkechi. Her family never ceased to remind her of the shame she has brought on them. Her mother lost her position as secretary of the christian mothers association of her church because of this, and this have made her even more bitter towards her daughter. “Why did God punish me with you,” she often says to Nkechi. “Can’t you see other decent girls, can’t you see our neighbour’s daughter Funke. She is a very good girl.”

Funke is a 23 year old girl, unmarried and without child. She is the type of daughter that all the parents in the neighbourhood wish to have. She dresses decently at home, always in the front row of the church pew. The guys court her attention and some are ready to propose marriage. She is hardly seen around with boys, she appears married to Jesus…or so she leads us to believe.
Funke has committed abortion three times in four years. She is what Nigerians will call a typical “sharp girl.” Always keeping a low profile. Her adventures are “highly coded” and are never home based, they are always done away. And whenever complications like pregnancy occur, she takes care of it with precision. Hence keeping up the facade of being a good christian girl.
Today, mothers love her and pray that their daughters grow up to be like her. Men pursue her and pray that their wives are as modest as her while Nkechi; who made just one mistake and decided to live with it, is now the standard unit for determining “A Bad Girl”…Pathetic ba, but this is happening everyday in the Nigerian Society.

Nigeria is a nation of hardcore hypocrites. The pharisees are but learners when compared to many Nigerians. Promiscuity is on the increase, on par with corruption but unlike it, is generally frowned upon especially by those who themselves are drowning in the honeyed well of sexual exploits. The streets of Port-harcourt, Warri, Enugu, Calabar, Uyo, Ikeja, Lekki, Abuja etc are littered with commercial sex workers both those who are on full time contracts and those who are on part time. Sleeping with men for money is now an (unspoken yet) accepted norm. Sex is now traded and bought like shares on the stock exchange. I have even known some unmarried people whom pray before and after sex.

I have no issue with pre-marital sex, “Body no be wood ooo”, “Man must shag”, and I will add my own personal quote…”Man must not live by bread alone”..if you know what I mean. But I have problem with the high level of hypocrisy that goes with it. People who are pre/post marital sex champions are usually seen condemning pre-marital sex. Our universities are filled with unmarried couples who go back home to live like virgin mary. Our churches and mosque are filled with people who shout chastity on sunday morning after screaming out words which even the devil would be ashamed to mention, on friday night. Abortion is also on the increased, and girls who have engaged in it, multiples times even, come out as the good unspoiled girls we know…while those who decided not to or who through circumstances were not able to commit abortion are labelled as a disgrace to our society.

The attitude of the Nigerian society is skewed in favour of abortion. The catholic church and other religious associations may not agree with me on this but I believe that their attitude and behaviour towards the sinner (in this case those girls who bear children outside marriage) encourage others not to be seen as a sinner. The judgemental eyes and words of some people who themselves are sex offenders and abortionist even, make the choice of abortion very enticing and unavoidable. Hence the rising number of abortion in he country.

To be honest, Sexual immorality is here to stay and nothing anyone does can change it…I write this with a straight face (or hand or whatever)…No one can change it unless the person is ready to infringe on our fundamental human rights. These are norms and traditions already and I do not see anyway around it. I believe that time has come for us to accept the obvious. Sex whether pre-marital or post-marital is just sex. Teenagers indulge in sex too, everybody is doing it. Thus I feel that in order to prevent the bigger evil which is abortion, we should come to terms with that which is already normalized. The more we keep on lying to ourselves and judging those who indulge in pre-marital sex, the more we encourage others who conceive before marriage to seek redemption through Abortion.

Furthermore, prostitution is already a norm. So many girls in Nigeria’s higher institutions are involve in it. Involve in it not as traditional prostitutes that we know but as high class girls we see. I believe that it is about time prostitution is legalised in this country, so the government can tax those girls. There is no gain in fighting against something that is been patronised by our leaders both political, traditional and religious. There is no gain fighting something theoretical while practically supporting it. It is both foolish and counterproductive. Sex is necessary for continuation of life, and also for pleasure. Some would argue that sex leads to pregnancy which in turn leads to abortion, thus regulating sex is the same as checking abortion. To those people I ask “How do you regulate a natural process?” Sex is a natural process, it is inevitable for humanity at large and any attempt to check it, is like checking nature. We should focus our attention on checking the unnatural process of abortion which is anti-human, selfish and wicked.

In conclusion, I believe that most abortions are committed because of the stigma associated with pre-marital pregnancy. Our society is very brutal and merciless on those who are unfortunate to reveal to the world that they have eaten the forbidden fruit. This should not be the case. We should be encouraging those who are already pregnant to give birth in peace. We should not look down on them because if we know what some of the girls we hold in high regard are doing we would understand that pre-marital child birth is one of the hardest thing to do in present day Nigeria. Those girls need our love, our respect and not our condemnation or judgement. For As long as there is the stigma, the judgement, the looking down on those who are bold enough (or foolish enough as some would say) to accept the consequences of their actions, as long as the hypocrisy exists; the odds will surely favour those who commit abortion…no offence to the Conservationist, or to religious heads.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

DISCLAIMER: “I believe that it is about time prostitution is legalised in this country, so the government can tax those girls.” ….I feel that with the passage of time and discussions and reasoning I have come to believe that I was wrong in this sentence. I now believe that legalising Prostitution in any country especially Nigeria; which has no rule of law, will eventually lead to worse problem; Child molestation, Women Trafficking, Rape, Degradation of Women’s Rights, unwanted pregnancy, Abortion among other things. Hence I refute my earlier stance and now say strongly, Prostitution of any kind is a disease on any modern and civilised Society.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

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Comments
  1. LegendaryCJN says:

    Most times I read your posts because you are most often objective in your ideas and or analysis, and you have done really well with this one.
    However, I have to add that we are almost always the architects of our lives. That is to say that we became in the eyes of others what we want to become. There is a handful of people who gave birth outside wedlock like Nkechi you mentioned, but still rose up from the shackles of the stigmatisation to become world renown today. A good enough example is our own Nigerian born actress, Genevieve Nnaji.

    You know, as opposed to your idea on abortion, which I believe is religiously oriented, You know, I think there is something infantile about religious argument on abortion. The notion that in abortion, a human being is deprived of full existence runs concurrently with the argument that a human being is denied of full existence the moment one refuses to grab the opportunity to have sex! Besides, one should do away with objects he or she does not need anymore, right?

    I believe that in religious matter, honesty is the best policy, also that infidelity, in the strict sense of the word, is not unbelieve and or being unfaithful to God and to one’s spouse respectively, but feigning to be. That’s hypocrisy that you are hinting on.

    • lyriversity says:

      @chime, I believe that my argument against abortion is not based on religion. In fact I never really made any argument stating why abortion is wrong to beginning with. But since you need one, here is my take on abortion….I believe that it is a human being that is being killed during abortion. This is based on Biology…and nothing else. Life begins in fertilisation, in conception. A single cell is the smallest unit of life, and the union of an egg and a sperm producing a fertilised egg is a cell, a human cell, a human being. It is no longer an egg, it can not be menstruated out. Man is the only animal that is capable of such cruelty as abortion. Anyway Man is the only animal that is capable of many things.

  2. Emmanuel says:

    Dude, you’re on point on this one. What the eyes do not see, the tongues cannot tell.

  3. Stan Sixfeet says:

    stan sixfeet says super nice!

  4. Anene Francis says:

    Wonderful write up. Thumbs up bro…

    I am morally weak to comment. But “a father would not shy away from correcting his erring son just because he himself did same or worse in his childhood”. On this proverb I anchor my platform to stand and speak. Can’t react to all points raised without writing a full length article, so would select a few.

    Every one is entitled to his opinion so I won’t force mine on anyone. On my part, I fault both pre-marital sex and the hypocrisy in handling the resultant consequence. Truth be told, sex outside marriage is not right. This Age make Abstinence and faithfulness look like big deal, Preferring the concept of ‘I better do as others are doing or ruin my life trying’ (sad). Viewed without the stained glass of peer pressure deceit, they are not.
    * Legalise prostitution and it would be a matter of time you’ll also legalise rape. No sir.
    * Calling a pregnancy ‘unwanted’ is only heard of in our time. Past generations would most definitely be shocked at this term. For those not religiously inclined, please (for what ever good you believe in) why not choose the lesser evil of contraceptives if you must shag na? Abortion has serious side effects most times sef (You still don’t care?).
    * As to society changing… Individuals make up society. We admonish and encourage ourselves as this write up and discussion should do and is doing and hope for positive impact. Don’t be too pessimistic and giving up on our society changing. Promiscuity and abortion like many other ills, are on the increase but a ‘reduction’ from geometric to linear increase is reduction all the same and worth our effort (in word and practice). Lives would be saved.
    * Well done mr Solar… Dooh

    • Ezeamalukwuo says:

      Thanks Mr Anene for this great feedback, what more can I say.

    • Ezeamalukwuo says:

      I do not believe that legalising prostitution will lead to Rape being legalised…though I know that Prostitution being Legalised would lead to more serious problem like Women Trafficking and co. What I am trying to point out is that Prostitution is already legal, normal in Nigeria in everything but the Law. A lot of people patronise them both poor and big men, both religious and non-religious men. Even companies and corporations. I am only pointing to the truth…Hypocrisy has done us a grave injury. We need to honestly face our vices…we Nigerians shag a lot…it is almost a conquest. But those who conceive afterwards are labelled as Whores, fools, sluts, damaged, etc…and this have made majority of our young girls to seek abortion Asap….We need a re-orientation, we need to accept the inevitable… Sex is sex, be it pre marital or post marital…and a pre-marital child is as good a blessing as a marital one.

  5. Sparkles says:

    Interesting piece you have here Solar. I have been reading your other equally beautifully written articles without dropping a comment, but I have one or two things I want to add here. If pre-marital sex and prostitution should be legalized in Nigeria, don’t you think the anti-gay law should be abolished? After all “Sex whether pre-marital or post-marital is just sex.” And believe you me, there are gay prostitutes that are being patronized by even the political class you mentioned, so the gay prostitutes should be taxed too.

    And really, if you look at this issue more broadly, you’ll find out that it’s not only in pre-marital sex vs abortion that our hypocritical society condemns the one that decides to do it right. It’s the same with when children are celebrated and used as point of reference when they come back home rich with questionable sources of wealth (drug pushing anyone?) while the ones that earn meagre honest wages are being castigated by their parents for not being ‘smart’ or ‘sharp’ or whatever it’s called these days.

    • Ezeamalukwuo says:

      Thanks for the feedback and the points you raised. There are many issues with our dear country Nigeria. And I wish to explore as many of those issues as possible. As regards Anti-Gay law…I have tried to keep my mouth shut for now and observe the working of time. But as you requested for an opinion, here is mine.
      I believe that the Law is wrong, dictatorial and barbaric…yes, sex is sex…Human choice of sexual partner in the case of Two or More consenting adults, should not be subjected to legistration to begin with. With that said, I believe my attitude to gayism and lesbianism and the whole LGBT rights is that of Indifference. Yes I am indifferent towards your sexual orientation but do I agree that being Gay is normal..NO I don’t think it is, but a lot of abnormal things are here with us and we aint dying off yet…there is nothing Normal about being Gay, but also there is nothing Criminal about it either. I won’t condemn you for being Gay, and I won’t stand others criminalising you for that either.
      Yet my indifference has a vanishing point, an elastic limit…Gay is not my problem but Gay MARRIAGE is. I feel gays should be allowed to united with their fellow gays but such Union should not be equated with Traditional Marriage. I believe in the traditional institution of Family…I believe that family acts as a protective shield for the kids, protecting them from the harsh realities of the Society. I will fight to defend that. Gays, who want to be united should find another name for their Union…Maybe Gayairage or Lesbianirage or something…and should understand that there is a fundamental difference between a Man and a Woman, and the Union between both sexes…else we should also be promoting Polygamy and Polyandry..if sex defines Marriage…then.
      Sex is sex, shag all you want but Marriage and raising a family is worth far more than SEX…so my dear, Gay should live, and we should also live…Criminalising them is very wrong…but let the Fundamental Institution of Family/Marriage be Preserved for the sake of our Society..I believe that this is what the myopic Anti-gay law in Nigeria missed.

  6. M C Kingdavid says:

    You said ”Everybody is doing it”? No! No! I am not doing it; some decent Rev. Fathers and Sisters are not doing it.

  7. M C Kingdavid says:

    Some decent Rev. Fathers and Sisters are “Not” …corrected.

    • Ezeamalukwuo says:

      I know that not everyone is doing it…you as a writer knows how we toil with the hyperboles…the Truth is that a lot of us are doing it…but the question is not whether a lot are having sex but why is Abortion on the increase.

  8. Moses opara says:

    Than perform hypocrisy its better to be open and share the indepth.. Premarital sex of nowadays have in many ways breed hopelessness. When the children are dejected. But we all most take caution. Its a two side thing.

  9. Moses opara says:

    Than perform hypocrisy its better to be open and share the indepth.. Premarital sex of nowadays have in many ways breed hopelessness. When the children are dejected. But we all most take caution. Its a two side thing. Religion shouldnt be a cloak to hiding our faults, we should expose it.. Than pretend.

  10. Chimezie says:

    Well said. This something that has become an eye sore in this country. Words can hardly do justice to sexification of this country’s middle class.

    • Ezeamalukwuo says:

      Our Middle Class?? Please, it’s everywhere and in every class…Sex is as common as the air we breathe…the question is “What do we do about Abortion”?

  11. Chidiebere U. Udeagbala says:

    Speak. Speak. And Speak. Until who doesn’t care to listen is coarsed into paying attention.
    I fell in love with this article because it is simply the stark truth.
    And hey, the introduction is beautiful.
    Keep it up.

  12. timnwaobilo says:

    Well spoken, Mr Charles.

    I agree on your opinions on promiscuity, abortion and hypocrisy. Promiscuity is totally unbecoming of our society and is a terrible vice looking at its consequences. There is no need pretending abortion is alien to our community. It isn’t. People make mistakes and shouldn’t be judged nor condemned for their previous sexual misdemeanours. Instead, they need love. I am strongly against stigmatisation.

    However, legalising prostitution is very very wrong and destructive to any peoples. Let me liken your suggestion to this scenario. Assume that hit-and-run drivers are killing people regularly on the roads. And you, Charles are a father of 3 children. A man runs over your son, and pays you N1m for your pains. Would you then tell him to knock over your other children, just so you can receive N3m? Of course not. If you say prostitution is rampant so it should be legalised, then you’d probably give your other children to be killed cos it’s rampant. You gain temporarily but then you hurt yourself ultimately, and also deprive society of its human resources( your kids ). Thats how prostitution is. They enjoy momentary satisfaction, cash and kind, but succeed in contributing to society’s depravity and decadence. No, no, sir. 2 wrongs never make 1 right.

    In my opinion, sexual immorality shouldnt be encouraged, passively or actively.
    “To be honest, Sexual immorality is here to stay and
    nothing anyone does can change it…I write this with a
    straight face (or hand or whatever)…No one can
    change it unless the person is ready to infringe on our
    fundamental human rights.”
    I totally disagree.
    Our rights end where the next person’s starts. If something is wrong, it is wrong. A phenomenon being widespread doesn’t make it right. Thats just plain self deceit. It doesnt help anyone or any cause, except such cause is evil. Supporting prostitution cos its ubiquitous also means Mandela( whom you so fondly adore, Mr Charles) died for a wasted cause. Why? Because apartheid was widespread in his days. And MLK was also a waste, right? Wasnt racism a global phenomenon? There is always something small we can do to ensure that RIGHT is always RIGHT.

    Let me lay dis premise. I think premarital sex accounts for over 95% of all abortions in our society. Furthermore, condemning abortion without condemning sexual immorality/premarital sex is a form of hypocrisy. Without cause, there is no effect. To cure a disease, kill the pathogen. If premarital sex can be curbed in its entirety, then abortion will only be a tale of yesterday. I may sound bias but my views are shaped by well-informed prejudices. Moreover, we cannot HONESTLY, I repeat, HONESTLY divorce religion from morality / right and wrong, in response to “religious heads” mentioned at the latter part of dis article.

    Abortion is a crime, especially when the line between life and death is very thick*.

    *I MAY be obliged to rethink my stance on abortion if mother’s life is at risk.

    I hope I have contributed a bit to this discourse.

    • Ezeamalukwuo says:

      I think I finally concede…I was wrong on the stance of Prostitution…and also I am wrong too on the stance of promiscusity…yet I feel that pre-marital sex shud be discouraged but the discouragement shud not be imposed.

  13. Anene Francis says:

    @Solar, I get you. You were expressing the extent to which promiscuity and prostitution have gone in our society. And yes, legalizing it will do more harm than good.
    *
    *Two things are stressed here: promiscuity and abortion. Endorsing one and not the other helps nothing if not make it worse. More sex outside marriage, more case of unwanted pregnancies, and with the hypocrisy as you said, more abortions.
    *Sex is not a natural process o, sex urges are, and should be controled by religious laws, civic laws and/ or common sense. Just like eating and hunger. One should not eat unregulated just because he is always hungry. Constraints are important for personal and social sanity.
    * Easy on the generalization. ‘Some’, many’, ‘almost all’ are different from ‘all’
    * Your admonition against stigmatization of those with premarital pregnancies is on point and well noted. But circumstances that lead to unwanted pregnancies should be discouraged. Be it promiscuity or unprotected sex.
    * I will join you and stress: “say no to abortion “. That is what we should do: sensitization on the dangers of abortion.

    @Sparkles, the ills in our society are numerous, the ones you mentioned being among them. I change, you change,we change
    @Solar, your opinion on the gay matter is very close to mine, if not exertly. Nothing more to add to that.
    @mr Tim, you are so on point. Saw nothing to counter in your comment.
    (As I said earlier, its my opinion not fact). Love the progress of this discuss. Una dooh

    • Ezeamalukwuo says:

      Mr Anene…aye you were and still right on many of your assertion…I will blame it on my frustration with the world…a lot of things are screwed and good folks are screwed worst. I pass the baton to you…ooo

  14. Oyin Oludipe says:

    This here is the elevated resistance of a tempered artist. It should not be interpreted as the jaundiced omission of a reckless accuser, but the candour of a bothered observer.

  15. LegendaryCJN says:

    Prostitution did not start today…even in the Bible God once told a prophet of his to go take one as a wife… So legalizing or abolishing it ‘lawfully’ won’t make any difference. Someone gave example of a father receiving money from a hit-and-run driver…hey! That’s a different ball game…you don’t compare guava and apple though both are fruits. And we have to make a clear cut distinction between the concepts: prostitution, promiscuity, pre-marital sex. I’ve said my stance on abortion earlier and is till stand on it. #Ogaoga, about your disclaimer, let me close my mouth for now, but I’ll sure re-visit it again.

    • Ezeamalukwuo says:

      My Disclaimer on Prostitution is clear enough. Prostitution is as old as time…is it a good thing…NO..should it be forcifully clamped down..I am no fan of force especially when it is a victimless crime, involving two or more consenting adults.
      As regards your view on Abortion…I must say that it is as vague as anything Vague…I pray, for the same of our discussion and enlightenment..do clarify your position and reason for it.

      And please visit this Disclaimer now…please

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