Poverty pushing prostitution, abortion to alarming levels – activist

An abortion expert says if prostitution and poverty in Zambia is not controlled, it might lead to a collapse of the country’s moral fibre.

Speaking when he featured on Kambani radio programme on 5fm today, Ackim Phiri said abortion levels were too high in Lusaka Province.

“Our laws state that one can abort. So its legal and also its illegal depending on the way you do the termination. And three doctors have to recommend that you undergo an abortion if justified by medical conditions. Statistics show that Lusaka is on the high rate of abortion which means that its due to its population. So the abortion rate is going up every year. This means that we have to do something because this is not only a problem of society but its also a problem of individuals and families,” Phiri said

“The paramount reason is poverty. You know we are vulnerable to anything, you can submit to anything for you to get what you want. So poverty is the major thing that is contributing to prostitution and abortion. And if this thing of poverty is not tackled now, it will be like a generation of poverty. You find in the night clubs, prostitution, its something that is beyond our control because we are too vulnerable to anything that comes across us. Sometimes problems start slowly. Abortion can lead to what we called post-traumatic syndrome disorder if not handled so well. It can also lead to social problems, even some complications.”

Meanwhile NAREP leader Elias Chipimo said poverty in Zambia had continued making the young people vulnerable.

“There are so many young people facing this issue. This is what poverty is doing to us and its continuing to make our young people totally vulnerable. We need some answers and we need some dedicated commitment, we need every official that is responsible to put their heads together. It is not about condemning anybody, let us condemn the problem and say ‘what are we going to do in order to find the solution?’ yes it has to start from a home. So its not just the matter of legalising it when the underlined issue of poverty has not been addressed,” said Chipimo.

And an abortion victim only identified as Mulenga narrated to the listeners how her grandmother forced her to have an abortion after she fell pregnant at 16 years old while in grade eleven.

“I fell pregnant and aborted it. My grandmother helped me to abort it because she was scared that my father would kill me. My grandmother called the man responsible for my pregnancy but he denied responsibility. By then I was 16 years old and I didn’t really know what to do because I was young. My grandmother used to give me some herbal medicine to drink until the time when I lost the pregnancy. I could feel a pain in my stomach, as if I want to go to the toilet. That time I was in grade eleven, after the abortion, I continued with my school until I completed my grade twelve although my results were not so good. Right now I am not doing anything for a living, I only help my grandmother with her business,” narrated Mulenga.

         

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