That’s the thought being put ahead by Esther Muinjangue, Namibia’s deputy minister of well being and social providers.
The southern African nation has not too long ago seen protests from each anti-abortion activists and abortion rights advocates.
“Whether or not legalized, abortion is a reality in our society and hence the need to debate on it, weigh the pros and cons, the advantages and disadvantages, in order for us as a country to make informed decisions,” she mentioned throughout her televised look on the National Assembly.
Muinjangue added that it was necessary for lawmakers to look into the explanations for abortions earlier than making a call to maintain or repeal Namibia’s legislation on the circumstances for terminating pregnancies.
And as Muinjangue and her colleagues within the Namibian parliament proceed to debate whether or not or not they wish to hold upholding this 45-year-old legislation, feminists and activists within the nation are calling it discriminatory and lobbying for it to be repealed.
“These laws are truly outdated and the countries we inherited those laws from have long changed theirs. Meanwhile, we still continue to keep ours,” Naisola Likimani advised CNN.
Given the danger concerned in being pregnant and childbirth, she mentioned, ladies needs to be given the possibility to determine if they wish to topic their our bodies to the potential risks that include being pregnant.
“Giving birth is a life and death situation for many women. You are putting your body at risk when you decide to carry a pregnancy. So, you should really be the one to say whether or not you want to carry it,” Likimani mentioned.
Petitions and protests
The petition, posted in June by Beauty Boois, a Namibian feminist and psychologist, presently has greater than 61,000 signatures in help of legalizing abortion.
“We hope that this petition results in the legalization of abortion in Namibia so that Namibian women can take full ownership and practice autonomy over their own bodies,” Boois wrote within the petition.
The petition was signed by a number of organizations and womens’ teams together with Out-Right Namibia, the Young Feminist Movement of Namibia, and Power Pad Girls.
“Part of our demand during the protest was access to wholistic reproductive justice care for Namibian women. We want access to on-demand abortion for anyone from the age of 10,” Ndiilokelwa Nthengwe advised CNN.
In South Africa, a lady of any age can get an abortion on request with no motive given if she is lower than 13 weeks pregnant.
In addition to wanting related alternatives for ladies in Namibia, Nthengwe mentioned activists need the federal government to make provision for post-abortion care within the nation.
“We want a new bill that not only prioritizes abortions but also provides access to comprehensive sexual health education. We sent our demands and research to the parliament, to politicians as well. But we haven’t gotten a response yet,” she mentioned.
One of the most important disadvantages of failing to reform abortion legal guidelines is that it might lead ladies having unsafe abortions mentioned Dr. Bernard Haufiku, Namibia’s former minister of well being and social providers.
Illegal abortions are sometimes carried out secretly within the backrooms of medical doctors or by unauthorized folks, which will be painful and harmful to ladies, in keeping with Haufiku.
Haufiku, who’s a medical physician, advised CNN that many ladies have died attempting to bypass the legislation procuring backstreet abortions and authorities owe it to take motion that may forestall such deaths.
“We (would) rather abolish backstreet abortions that have taken many lives in Namibia. It is not about pushing abortion, it’s about saving lives of women who will pursue backstreet abortions due to socioeconomic reasons especially if the laws punish it,” he mentioned.
Former parliamentarian Haufiku says the best to determine what a lady ought to do along with her physique ought to lie with the girl and never the federal government or politicians.
CNN reached out to Namibia’s Ministry of Health and Social Services for remark however is but to obtain a response.
The calls to legalize abortions in Namibia haven’t been with out pushback.
Zelda Van der Colff, a pastor primarily based in Namibia created a bunch referred to as Pro-life Namibia, a web based platform to boost opposition to abortions within the nation.
One of the most important causes anti-abortion activists do not agree with the abortion rights advocates on reform is that their non secular beliefs don’t allow the termination of pregnancies — besides in excessive instances.
CNN has reached out to Namibia’s Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare for remark however has not obtained a response.
Lobby for abortion invoice to be repealed
Weeks after road protests and petitions from anti-abortion activists and abortion rights advocates, Namibia continues to debate whether or not it ought to reform its abortion legal guidelines.
The nation’s lawmakers are but to make their determination on reforms public, however feminists and abortion advocates say that they won’t quit and have continued to foyer for the Abortion and Sterilization Act to be repealed.
“I want the government to trust its women. Give them the choice to decide what they want to do with their own bodies. Women are not going to run and get pregnant so that they can get an abortion if it is made legal,” mentioned Naisola Likimani, of She Decides.
“It’s about putting a law in place that will save them from unsafe abortions, that will save their lives,” Likimani added.
Feminist Ndiilokelwa Nthengwe advised CNN that the womens’ teams concerned within the protests calling for abortion rights have fashioned a coalition referred to as the Voices for Choices and Rights Coalition.
VCRC members have delivered analysis paperwork on the significance of implementing complete sexual reproductive well being and rights for ladies within the nation to the National Assembly, mentioned Nthengwe.
The transfer, she mentioned, is meant to affect parliamentarians to create a brand new invoice that displays the curiosity of ladies. Through the invoice, they need the federal government to offer entry to on-demand abortions, in addition to selling campaigns on intercourse and reproductive well being.
“We don’t have a choice but to be optimistic. We have to continue to be resilient and make sure that access to reproductive justice for women is given.”