On Life, love and Politics

"Random musings about Life, love and Politics. Just my open diary on the events going on in the world as I see it."

The lesser shame: abortion among educated women in southern Cameroon January 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — kikenileda @ 8:50 PM

Unborn child

I came across a very insightful article done by researchers from University of California, Berkeley, about the attitudes of educated women in the Southwest as regards abortion. It stipulated that "Educated women in southern Cameroon both condemn abortion and practice it with some regularity. This apparent paradox arises because educated Cameroonian women use abortion as one of a set of strategies to manage the timing and social context of entry into motherhood.

 This paper is based on a body of research which included a demographic life history survey (N = 184), open-ended narrative interviews (N = 37), and participant observation over 10 months. The survey data included 61 reported abortions, giving a lower-bound estimate of the crude abortion rate of 19 per thousand woman-years of life. In southern Cameroon, sexual activity is socially tolerated in a wide variety of non-marital relationships, while childbearing is not. Thus, most of my informants, including those who reported having aborted, say that abortion is shameful; however, they view its moral and social consequences as less grave than those of a severely mistimed entry into socially recognized motherhood. That is, abortion persists in southern Cameroon because it is the lesser shame."

To read the full report, please go to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12231013 or request it at your school library.


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