Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sexual Reproductive Rights

Young and Vulnerable…

Read this with an open mind and heart, without discrimination and prejudice, set aside religion, morality and ethics on which you defined, stigma or stereotypes you might have, please set it all aside. Do it for the sake of the young and vulnerable for reality has come and it’s time for us to act and do something about the issue concerning the unsafe abortion among adolescent and young women.  Yes, abortion, have I drop the bomb to quick? Is the impact too fast to cope? Good. This should help to open your eyes to the reality of a silent pandemic on which it’s too taboo in our society to discuss.

Before I attended the seminar on Reproductive Rights held in UM recently, I mistakenly believe that abortion in Malaysia is outright illegal in all circumstances, albeit if you’re carrying a child of a rapist or sexually abused by your spouse. Little did I know that abortion is actually legal here and due to lack of knowledge about the legalities of abortion and lack of understanding of the possible health consequences and dangers women might face if abortion services are not accessible, they might resort themselves to unsafe abortion with untrained providers or try to abort themselves since abortion is not openly discussed by the public and health providers.
I am here to spread awareness that women should earn their rights of their own sexual reproduction and not be oppressed by any persons in the society. If you know of any young women who conceived an unwanted child and has no where to go, no person to rely on and no one who cares about her, and you just looking from afar feeling pity and bad for not knowing what to do to help her, then you'll know exactly where my intention of spreading this awareness lies.

"Sexual Reproduction Rights exists and some of it are, rights to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health where they can freely and responsibly decide on number of children they wish to have (family planning), right to legal or safe abortion, right to contraception and education pertaining to it." WHO

A young person from an early age requires accurate and comprehensive information on how to protect themselves from sexual abuse by strangers and family members or even their lovers. They also need to know about sexual relations, how pregnancy happens and how to prevent it, as well as to recognise the early signs of pregnancy. Continuing to neglect in providing young people with comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education is having a serious negative effects on their health and lives. 
Just look at the increasing number of baby dumping!

Statistics are 9% out of all unsafe abortions in Asia are among girls aged 15-19 years old and further 23% among young women aged 20-24. However, these are only the reported cases as we’re all aware that it is difficult to gather the statistics.

Let us not create violence against women when we acknowledge and abide with the social stigma whereby premarital sex is stigmatised in most parts of Asia. Do you realise that premarital sex is itself a stigma? 
Think about it.

Pregnancy in an unmarried girl is often referred to as “illegal” and abortion in these circumstances is illegal even when it may not be. This stigma imposed the need for confidentiality, which coupled with lack of partner or family support and economic vulnerability and it may make it hard for some young women to access medically safe services and even clandestine safe services may charge a high financial premium. Unskilled providers may be the only option even in settings where safer, legal alternatives exist.

Whatever your believes or faith may lie, if you have a genuine heart to help, I recommend that the first step we must do is not to drag ourselves to the social stigma and start respecting the rights and choice of others as they have rights protected under the law and do it for the sake of a healthy sexual reproduction of these women. Please cast your condemnation and criticism against this deed and be rationalised instead. Educate on sexual reproductive rights to prevent unwanted pregnancy. 

or you can always refer them to RRAAM (Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia) where they'll help these young and vulnerable women.

Miss V
-making the world a better place to live in-

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