Young people must speak up on abortion: Kavetuna

09 Mar 2018 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 09 MAR (NAMPA) – The Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services has called on young people to come forward and tell lawmakers what they think is best for them to address the issue of abortion in Namibia.
Juliet Kavetuna was speaking at a panel discussion on baby dumping and the pros and cons of abortion, as part of the commemoration of International Women’s Day organised by the University of Namibia (UNAM) in the capital on Thursday.
She said currently, only the religious and political fronts are vocal on this matter, basing their arguments on anthropological issues, which have been raised since the first debate on this dynamic topic.
Kavetuna said those arguments ranged from the moral crisis, medical ethics and the realist’s point, to the social paradox.
“With this, we are not going forward. You, the young people, need to tell us what is best for you, you should subscribe to the notion of nothing for you without you,” she advised.
She said young people should not leave the matter to politicians to debate and decide on their behalf, as the number of abortion cases being treated at health facilities, is increasing.
More than 7 000 such cases were reported at health facilities last year.
More than a half of the cases are forced miscarriages, Kavetuna said.
“It is scary and one wonders how many cases go unreported, how many fatalities there are due to induced abortion,” she said.
Kavetuna noted that what is currently her ministry’s biggest concern is what the right approach to the issue is, as the statistics are not a favourable indicator towards the country’s sexual and reproductive health and maternal indexes.
On her part, UNAM’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Administration, Finance and Resource Mobilisation, Ellen Namhila said students and learners need to be informed about options for dealing with an unwanted pregnancy and how they can continue their studies as parents.