By Paul Mamattah
In an effort to promote women’s health and safety, Joyce OpokuAmoah, a student midwife at the Family Health University College, has emphasized the importance of seeking safe abortions and raised awareness about the adverse effects of unsafe procedures.
She explained that unsafe abortion could lead to severe health complications, such as infections, hemorrhaging, and even death, and advised women, ladies, or girls who find themselves pregnant and are not ready or capable of having a child, to seek the services of a qualified health facility to carry out a safe abortion.
Ms. Amoah, supported by statistics from the Ghana Health Service, aims to educate and encourage women and girls to access proper healthcare facilities, while emphasizing the safe implications set forth by the Ghanaian Parliament.
Speaking in an interview with Ghanaianvoiceonline.com in Accra, Ms. Amoah, said statistics released by the Ghana Health Service, that a concerning number of women resort to illegal abortions each year, despite the associated health risks.
She added that these procedures, often performed by unqualified practitioners in unregulated environments, not only jeopardize women’s lives but also contribute to long-term complications and even death saying that; it is crucial for women to understand the potential dangers and prioritize their well-being by seeking legal and safe alternatives.
Ms. Amoah warned women against resorting to unsafe abortion according to her report by the Ghana Health Service indicates that every year about 319,000 women between ages 15-49 in Ghana seek an abortion with nearly 30% of these women resulting in unsafe abortion, leading to the deaths of 13% of those women.
The student midwife who is a passionate advocate for women’s health, strongly advises women and girls who find themselves in unplanned or unwanted pregnancies to visit licensed health facilities.
Ms. Amoah stressed that trained healthcare professionals can provide accurate information, guidance, and support while ensuring their well-being throughout the process adding that; by seeking assistance from these experts, women can avoid the risks associated with clandestine procedures and make informed decisions about their reproductive health.
“The importance of legalizing abortions in Ghana cannot be overstated. Recognizing the necessity to safeguard women’s rights and well-being, Parliament has enacted laws pertaining to the legal implications of abortion procedures. These laws are designed to protect both women and medical practitioners, ensuring that the process is carried out safely and ethically. By adhering to these laws, women can have peace of mind knowing that they have made a responsible and lawful choice regarding their reproductive healthcare”. Ms. Amoah stated.
She reiterated that Parliament passed the abortion law in 1985, which allows for legal abortions under certain conditions. Legal abortions can be done in Ghana if the pregnancy poses a risk to the woman’s life, mental health, or physical health. However, women who obtain illegal abortions can face imprisonment for up to five years under Ghanaian law.
Ms. Amoah encouraged women facing unwanted pregnancies to reach out to health facilities where they can access confidential and non-judgmental advice and care stressing that these health facilities provide counseling services and medical procedures, such as safe abortions if legally permissible under Ghanaian law.
She called on the government to ensure access to safe, affordable, and legal abortion services in Ghana and appealed to the public to support efforts to prevent unwanted pregnancies and provide support to women who choose to carry their pregnancies to term.
Ms. Amoah underscored the need for women not to compromise their health and lives by resorting to unsafe abortions urging them to seek help from health professionals that can save their lives and prevent long-term complications.