Teenage pregnancy increases in Bawku West District

In a short piece attributed to Ghana News Agency (GNA) teen pregnancy rates are addressed as a concern, bringing in the factors of government responsibility, education, and abortion.  The first word that jumped out at me was “indulged,” referring to the “75 percent of young girls between 13 and 19” that “indulged” in the procedure.  Whether this word is a poor translation or a strong implication is concerning, because to the reader it is communicated that this procedure is some sort of luxury or solution to an inconvenience.  Then action is already cited in a conference held by the Rural Urban Women and Children Development Agency (RUWACDA), demonstrating how this issue has been relevant long enough to be addressed, and also intrigued me as to what other programs this agency conducts.  A quick Google showed the most recent update was the application for RUWACDA to join an organization for the end of tuberculosis (StopTB) that cited RUWACDA as a women and youth centered organization with a focus on:

Malaria, TB/HIV/AIDS Awareness, Prevention, Care and treatment
Advocacy and other health related issues
Reproductive health issues such as Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sounds like Planned Parenthood, and it gets better, with concise aims to  “Empower women and the youth,” and “Promote reproductive health among women, youth and men alike,” among other things.

So here is this organization that sounds like Ghana’s version of Planned Parenthood that is presented in an article that refers to abortion as an indulgence.  I could not find information on whether this organization offered abortion services but found it fascinating that they seemed to be unlinked to or credited with the high abortion rates in Ghana but depicted as a solution to them.  If only rhetoric in America could be similar.  This short article presented an even more complex take on the issue of abortion in terms of the relationship of responsibility and public health.  There was almost an assignment of blame on the Ghanaian government for not addressing the needs and rights of young people.  I especially liked the direct connection made between government responsibility for at least facilitating a discussion on physical and psychological education and health and the rights of the Ghanaian people to education and health.  The trend of teen pregnancies was reflected as a health and civic issue to the whole population, not just women or children.

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