A Case for the Use of Contraceptives in Teenage Girls.

Birth control, also known as contraception and fertility control, are methods or devices used to prevent pregnancy. Provision, planning and use of birth control is called family planning. Birth control methods have been used since ancient times, but effective and safe methods only became available in the 20th century.

There are over 10 types of contraceptives which allow u enjoy sex without the risk of getting pregnant some of which include; condoms, the diaphragm, birth control pills, implants, IUD’s ( inter uterine devices), emergency contraceptives commonly known as the morning after pill.

In  Kenya  the rate of high school dropout is on the increase Up to 13,000 Kenyan girls drop out of school every year as a result of pregnancy, and around 17 percent of girls have had sex before they turn 15. This can only mean that if a parent still wants her daughter to continue with school then an abortion  becomes the best antidote.

An abortion is the medical process of ending a pregnancy so it does not result in the birth of a baby. It is also sometimes known as a ‘termination’ or a ‘termination of pregnancy’. Depending on how many weeks you have been pregnant, the pregnancy is ended either by taking medication or by having a surgical procedure.

The  Maputo Protocol of 2003  was the first treaty to recognize  medical abortion as a women’s human right under the conditions of sexual assault, rape, incest and where the continued pregnancy endangers the mental and physical health of the mother or the life of the mother or the baby.

In most cases a pregnancy is not any threat to a reckless teenage who chooses to “go Live” thus abortion to this category of women/girls is illegal.

Unfortunately today in urban areas  parents as well as teenage girls  have resorted to safe or unsafe abortion to guarantee continued education. This has often left emotional and physical scars to the parties involved, in dire cases even life has been lost.

In the implementation of sexual Reproductive Health Rights as an FK Fellow at Femnet I have often times received a lot of criticism for my  advocacy on  the use of contraceptives for women and girls as a preventive measure for unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions amongst teenage girls, yet statistics in Kenya show that 17% of girls had had sex before their 15th birthday.

How can we secure a generation of enlightened  free citizens who uphold values of freedom of  when to have or not to have babies, if there is no meaningful  effort being made to help society change their attitude towards the use of contraceptives?

In an era of both information and technological explosion it is either the age of consent be moved downwards to 15 years or freedoms of use of contraceptives be enjoyed by teenagers.

The 48th session of the Commission on Population and Development that took place between the 13th and 17th April 2015 adopted the theme of Realizing  the future we want, this theme attracted economists like  Tim Dyson who in his keynote remarks conspicuously said that “over the last several decades, rapid population growth is found to have exercised a qualitatively important negative impact on the pace of economic growth in developing countries”.

This can only mean that population explosion needs to be checked if economic development is to be achieved in Africa which currently is the fastest demographically growing continent in the world Its population has grown from 110m in 1850 to 1 billion today.Aug 27, 2009.

Contraceptives will help ensure a quality populace other than a quantity one, in the meantime i say the campaign for sexual reproductive health rights ought to target not only women but also Teenage girls.


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