It was heart wrenching when news broke that one of the released chibok girls, Susan Ishaya, who is a minor, had become pregnant. She, along with over 200 school girls, was reportedly kidnapped by the blood bathing terror group, Boko Haram. This gave birth to the #bringbackourgirls campaign that drew global attention and condemnations.
As at the time of writing this report the rest of the girls are said to be in captivity. “Today is the 165th day since 273 Nigerian school girls were kidnapped. We ask that all of you, from whatever city/country you live, to continue to march and hold rallies. Continue to call your government leaders and tell your friends. We will not be silenced.
“Every day the family at the Bring Back Our Girls headquarters in Abuja march and rally by the hundreds,” the official facebook page of the campaigners reports.
Confirming the four months pregnancy incidence, chairman of Chibok community in Abuja, Tsamdo Hosea Abana stated: “Susan is actually one of our daughters abducted from Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok. She was found in Mubi where her abductors dumped her and she was later taken to Yola. It has been proved that the girl is four months pregnant, and she is psychological and physically traumatized.”
Many have wondered from religious, moral and legal perspectives if she, Susan Ishaya, should abort this pregnancy.
In Nigeria, where the rape crime is believed to have been committed, the abortion policy is as follows:
Grounds on which abortion is permitted:
To save the life of the woman - Yes
To preserve physical health - Yes*
To preserve mental health - Yes*
Rape or incest - No
Foetal impairment - No
Economic or social reasons - No
Available on request - No
Two physicians are required to certify that the pregnancy poses a serious threat to the life of the woman.
* Nigeria has two abortion laws: one for the northern states and one for the southern states. Both laws specifically allow abortions to be performed to save the life of the woman. In addition, in the southern states, the holding of Rex v. Bourne is applied, which allows abortions to be performed for physical and mental health reasons.
Some of the religions found in Nigeria see abortion at any stage of conception as terminating an innocent life, which is against God’s view of life. Others are indifferent.
Reacting to this incidence, some have called for the pragnancy to be retained as no one knows what can become of the child. Others have expressed fears that this child could become an 'immortal' terror. Yet still, some have wondered why subject the girl or others who might be in her state to the truma of carrying a rape pregnancy and taking up the responsibility of raising the child.
Below are some of the reactions to the story we published about the pregnancy.
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What do you think, should this prenancy be retained or aborted?