BIRTH SPACING AND DEVELOPMENT IN OUR SOCIETIES – Contraception

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By Libby Wacu

The following key facts about contraception:

  • Some contraception methods help control spread of STIs
  • Family planning reduces the need for unsafe abortions
  • Family planning reinforces people’s rights to determine the number and spacing of their children

The above highlighted fact is a discovery that has been made over time by scientists around the world and by, simply, observation by many. Women who use long term reversible Contraception methods are four times more likely to wait more than 18 months between pregnancies compared to those relying on condoms; according to US researchers. This basically means two things; that it is advantageous to use these non-barrier methods in a typical modern family, have enough spacing between pregnancies and therefore allow better management of finances to raise the kids. This is otherwise a disadvantage to those couples that prefer to have their children one after the other, and sort of clear the business of bringing up children quicker. This I consider to be funny.

It is agreeable though, that the advantage outweighs the disadvantage; considering this time and age especially in developing countries. Firstly, basic logic shows us that the more the spacing between pregnancies, the less the number of children a woman is likely to bear within her child-bearing age. Thus, less children and hence population control. All that is needed in the already overpopulated developing countries. This means less burden on the countries’ finances and more opportunity to develop.

In addition, a woman’s ability to choose when to conceive has a direct impact on her health. Meaning, contraception delays pregnancy in young women at risk from health problems of early child-bearing; and among older women who also face increased risk. In reference to the topic in question, evidence suggests that women who have more than four children are at increased risk of maternal mortality; then, kuddos to contraception and pregnancy spacing!

Empowerment of women and enhancement of education is another advantage. Contraception of this kind enables women to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health. They decide when to have children and ill-timed pregnancies are kept at bay. Education wise, we have got to agree that spacing between pregnancies allows one to concentrate on one child almost at a time and sponsor their education without really struggling. Imagine four children, each one year apart from the other, in a family of low socio-economic status, all thirsty for a good education…UNIMAGINABLE. Sadly, this is the situation in developing countries; more and more children every day, more burden on the countries, less chance of an education. It becomes an unending pit of misery.

It is now clear that one of the major solutions to development is reinforcement of family planning. The status on the grassroots is poor. Access to family planning services is way below the expected level so then, campaigns for contraception continue to be futile. Slowing down population has therefore become a challenge to the economy, environment, and regional development efforts.

Hopefully, the mentality of just having children without planning will fade as it is detrimental to the society at large. The task is to scholars, researchers and even writers to spread their wealth of knowledge about contraception, trying as much to eliminate fear from myths on contraception. I mean, that the ‘pill’ makes the woman lose interest in intimacy? That she loses her pride as a woman? That the society can no longer regard her as a woman if she does not have a dozen children? Surely all these are definitely not worth considering in the first place, they are false.

So, as a woman, I choose space…mostly for my own good, but also for the good of my country…but do I say?

 

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