I’m working on an event framed around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and for it, sourcing articles and relevant content to post in our social media channels. I was just reading an article on adolescent pregnancies – of which there are 5,2 million yearly in Asia.
The number is shocking, but not a surprise. I used to live in the Philippines, where family planning is a complete taboo. It’s a developed enough country to understand the issue but refuses to acknowledge the problem as they are devoted Catholics. I respect everyone’s religion but not the refusal to respect a women’s right to her own body.
In many countries, there’s lack of education on sex and reproductive health. I remember when I lived in the US, how sex education was non-existent because people seemed to believe that talking about sex to the teenagers would encourage them to have sex. A logic which only leads to undesired pregnancies as the teenagers lack the basic knowledge of condoms, contraceptives and in general of how they might get pregnant. Teens will start exploring no matter what, but school and parents could equip them properly and sincere discussions on sex could also de-mystify it, ensuring the teens there is no rush.
How can we get around this topic? Pregnancy should be a beautiful, joyful thing, which doesn’t risk the mother’s or the child’s health. Preventing to get pregnant, is an absolute right of a woman, and why not a man’s as well. Family planning would help solve many of the world’s problems, from over-population to women’s health and families’ life quality. And it doesn’t cause any!
It’s time to start living in the modern era and embrace the opportunities we have for improving health, life quality and human rights.