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Rejoice Abutsa: Pro-Life, Pro-Choice or Pro-Confused

Rejoice Abutsa

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dreamstime_m_11667246I attended a Catholic boarding school. One of the mantra of our school was live and let live; and in celebration of that, we had film students that visited our school. They screened films on forgiveness, love, abstinence and the most gruelling of them all were films on abortion.

We had to sit through and watch how the foetus was mutilated and flushed out. It was a plea to our conscience. It was an all-girls boarding school and to our principal, a Reverend Sister, it was important to educate us on abstinence. Through those videos we also learnt, “you shouldn’t get pregnant, until you are married’. That way, we won’t be in a position where we would have to be considering abortion.

Every term, we watched videos of incidents of abortions. We watched how young ladies went the extra mile to get rid of a pregnancy. There was politics in showing us these videos; they played them just before our vacation. They enjoyed moments when the images on the screen made us shiver with fear or gasp with disgust. Sometimes we even cried. These videos were played just before vacation, just so that the images would remain alive in our minds, so that we didn’t even dare. It was clear that abortion was murder, at least from the videos and backed up with the bible verse Exodus 20 v 13 which says, “Thou Shall Not Kill”, we were afraid of being murderers and so we obeyed.
Once we left the hall, the mood in school was always meditative. Nobody spoke too loud, we only whispered. There was no wild laughter, we felt guilty for smiling.

I got into the university almost immediately after graduation from Secondary school and that was more of a liberal world. I heard many more stories there. I met people who were ready to share their abortion stories, some of them felt guilty and others nothing at all.

It is said that for a foetus to be considered a human being, it must have been born alive and separated from the umbilical cord and should breathe its own breath, even if it is for a second. It is not a baby yet but it is heading towards being a baby. So choosing to abort is like putting a pot of water on the stove and removing it because it is not hot yet. If you didn’t want it to be hot, you wouldn’t put it there.

As I try to understand life better, I have read more and given almost everything space for a deeper understanding. I am understanding life a little bit away from the boarding house, I still feel that if you cannot abstain then at least don’t get pregnant.
Our principal would always remind us of the double sin of engaging in premarital sex and then getting an abortion. I have made the decision not to engage in things I know I cannot manage but as I get older, I have also learnt not to judge people for the decisions they make concerning their lives.

I used to compare people that aborted to murderers and I was not conscious of the fact that we are all sinners.

I felt bad thinking about abortion until the rescue of some of the kidnapped girls that returned pregnant. Stories like that of Ese Oruru; and if you are a radio fanatic like me, all those random stories of incest between fathers and daughters, brothers and sisters.
Sometimes I doubt these stories but I have come to understand that these are real life stories being shared. I remember listening to a story of a seventeen year old girl that sent a radio anchor a message. She was impregnated by her father, while her mother was away and she needed advice – to keep the pregnancy or get rid of it. The callers were angry, rightly so. They shared their view but at the end of it all, they said, “don’t abort, abortion is a sin”. For the first time I wanted to call in and more surprisingly, I wanted to advise her to go ahead and abort the child if she wants to.
It was painful to think of the family cycle that was going on there, her father becomes the grandfather and father of the child and her mother becomes the step-mother and grandmother to the child. And what about the girl? She becomes the mother and the sister of the child. She has to deal with stigmatisation from our very judgemental society and worse, she has a duty of explaining to the child, how he came to be.

It was too painful to think of it and the only thing I could think of is, abort it and forget it. Unfortunately, it is not that easy. Listening to such stories has changed my perception on abortion. I still believe in abstinence, but I believe that it is not ours, to make decisions for others or chastise them based on their decisions. We can’t tell people how to live, we can try to influence them but we must let them make their decisions on life and its challenges.

When abortion was invented, it was for women who conceived through rape, incest or who suffered from genetic disorders. We have to think of the so many unwanted kids on the street, too many children that don’t have where to call home.
These children need care and unfortunately, there are not too many people to give this care.

Being Pro-choice does not mean that I agree with abortion and would think about it myself. I just believe that those that suffer as a result of trampled rights; they should be able to make those choices for themselves without them being condemned to hell and all the fire in there. Nobody should be mandated to bring in a child they cannot give enough emotional, physical and financial care to. If it is a sin, it is their sin.

The world is difficult enough. We shouldn’t bring in children that lack care and allow them grow with anger and become poisonous to the world because they have lacked love.

Let’s make the world free enough to breathe and let others breathe.

Photo Credit: Miroslav Ferkuniak | Dreamstime.com

Rejoice Abutsa is a creative communications and brand consultant, who wrote and produced her first short film in 2016, as a student of the University of Jos.Aside from working with filmmakers in Nollywood to ensure they find the best marketing solutions, she works with a number of creative start-ups to offer digital communications strategy that suit the goals of their businesses.Connect on Social Media;Email: [email protected] Instagram: @rejoiceabutsa Twitter: @RejoiceAbutsa

27 Comments

  1. De Duchess

    August 1, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    True. I am all for the freedom of choice. I would not judge anybody else because they refuse to live like me.
    Let everyone breathe. Let people have a free world. We are all sinners, no sin is bigger than the other, at least, so I think.

    • We Cannot Re-Brand The Almighty God.

      August 1, 2016 at 10:46 pm

      “”I AM the Lord; I change not.””
      “”Heaven and earth shall pass away but not one jot (dotting of the i) nor tittle (crossing of the t) shall be altered neither shall pass away.””

      It’s HARD. But the reality we must just deal with is that GOD does NOT change and God’s Word does NOT change NO MATTER WHAT. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to His Word/Law. NO MATTER WHAT. “”My grace is sufficient unto thee.”” PLEASE, we are the created. We do not have the power or option to make,, mold, twist, change, adapt our Creator into a god of our own choosing and convenience. Understand that “”He made us and not we ourselves”” and He DOES NOT CHANGE. NO MATTER WHAT. Let us ask for grace.

      SOME FAMOUS PEOPLE CONCEIVED THROUGH RAPE:

      Jesse Jackson, presidential candidate, activist and speaker.

      James Robison, co-host (with his wife) of Life with James and Betty on various Christian television networks and head of a large Christian and missionary aid organisation was a product of rape.

      Ethel Waters the late gospel singer, Academy Award-winning actress and author (His Eye is on the sparrow) was a product of rape.

      Frederick Douglass, abolitionist and author.

      Layne Beachley, seven-time world champion surfer and author.

      Zahara Jolie-Pitt, her Ethiopian mother was raped by a man who held a gun to her throat on her way home in the dark at night. At 6 months old, she was adopted by Angelina and Brad from an Ethiopian orphanage.

      FAMOUS PEOPLE ALMOST ABORTED:

      Pope John Paul II’s mother was advised by her doctor to have an abortion after losing her daughter shortly after birth. She decided to defy the doctor’s orders.

      Celine Dion’s family’s parish priest convinced her mother not to abort her.

      Steve Jobs, late founder and CEO of Apple Inc.

      Justin Bieber’s mother got pregnant at 17 and was encouraged by several people to abort but she chose to go ahead and have the baby.

      Cher (the famous singer)’s mother backed out last minute right at the abortion clinic.

      Andrea Boccelli, Andrea Bocelli, the world famous Italian classical crossover tenor, recording artist, and singer-songwriter. Born with poor eyesight, he became permanently blind at the age of 12 following a football accident. It didn’t stop him from becoming a world-wide success and a fearless horse-rider and skier among other accomplishments. His mother was advised to abort him when she was wrongly diagnosed with appendicitis whilst pregnant.

      Nick Cannon, host of America’s Got Talent, star in Real Husbands of Hollywood, ex-husband of Mariah Carey and father of Moroccan and Monroe, etc. His mother got pregnant at 17 and considered aborting him. He thanks her in his song: Can I live? for not going through with it.

      Israel Houghton, award-winning gospel singer, song-writer, worship minister; his white mother was advised by practically everyone to abort the pregnancy from her ongoing relationship with a black man in segregated America. His father left his mother before he was born. She was on drugs. She went ahead and gave birth to him.

      Tim Tebow, NFL player, Aside from his prowess in the football field, American quarterback Tim Tebow is also known for his public displays of religion, which many admire him for. His zest for life and God is probably due in part to the fact that he was a miracle baby. His mother contracted a life-threatening disease and fell into a comma when she was pregnant with him and the medicines she was taking affected her unborn child. Doctors recommended an abortion because her child would likely be stillborn, but being a woman of faith, she decided to carry baby Tim to term. When Tim wore John 3:16 on his eye-black during a 2009 championship game, over 92 million people looked the verse up on Google. That means over 92 million people heard the gospel because one ma’s mother refused to abort him and that same man grew up and took a stand for the God Who saved him.

      There are so many other examples but I think this is more than enough.

      We are the ones who have to change. It is the world which has to change. We are the ones who have the ability to change. NOT God. NOT the Word of God.

      We MUST face and deal with this Truth and fact and stop romanticising and emotionalising (if I may coin that word) God and His Word.

      For our own sakes.

      PLEASE.

    • Father can You hear me?

      August 2, 2016 at 10:03 am

      Wow. I TRY not to be judgmental and all but the word of God does NOT change as you stated and that is a #FACT. His word does not say “Thou shalt not kill UNLESS… It does not say thou shalt not lie UNLESS…

      Inasmuch as we try to be open minded, we need to be guided by the #WORD. Doing otherwise will be in contravention of His plan.

      May God bless us all and lead us aright. Amen.

    • Moni

      August 2, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      I see your point. Thank God Hitler was not aborted.

  2. Oma

    August 1, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Thank you for this piece Rejoice. I am Catholic and Pro life, but i am also open-minded enough to be Pro Choice – i must not judge others by my own standards because our stories are different. We must breathe and let others do the same.

  3. feyishola

    August 1, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Beautiful piece, everyone should be given a a choice to choose.

  4. Kingsley

    August 1, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    Born a good Catholic went to a Catholic boarding school and still believes in the strong doctrine of the mother church pls abstinence is just the best no matter what #all lives matters# like the writer just said only on exceptional cases the judgement is mine ooo incest,rape etc a good write up riri

  5. bruno

    August 1, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    ” I attended a Catholic
    boarding school. One
    of the mantra of our
    school was live and let
    live; ”

    you are a liar. stop telling lies. catholics don’t preaches live and let live. pls what’s the name of that Catholic school?

    • Oma

      August 2, 2016 at 9:38 am

      Haba Bruno and the other ignorant people that liked your comment, the Catholic Church for all its faults has never failed in its Pro-life stance. The Catholic Church is the most humanitarian institution there is and that ever was.. The Catholic Church has been in the forefront of education and medical care in ALL parts of the world, even in places no other person dares to go, for centuries till today, and these services are rendered always without prejudice, to Christians and none-Chrisitans alike. Yes, the Church like all institutions made up of human beings has its failings but please let us give honour where it is due

  6. Edd

    August 2, 2016 at 1:04 am

    Yez Rejoice, abstinence is just the best. And for those being judgemental, you haven’t found yourself in that situation, believe me, morality or religion, it ain’t simple.

  7. bellabelle

    August 2, 2016 at 6:01 am

    Why are you calling her a liar? You must be living under a rock if you dont know the catholic church has always been prolife. It doesnt mince words when it comes to abortion and also encourages tolerance with our fellow human beings so please where did she deserve to be given the award for lying? You may be anti-catholic and any good thing about them might cause you pain but try to be tolerant of other people. You dont have a monopoly on salvation or Heaven, so please live and let live!

  8. Mz_Danielz

    August 2, 2016 at 8:17 am

    You articulated my pro choice arguments perfectly. While it is a sin, it’s their sin and they should be allowed to choose whether or not to commit it.

    I have had 2 abortions; at 21 and 23 respectively. The 1st was a baby I couldn’t keep, you known how you go to an ex’s house and he forces himself on you only for you to push him away?, that’s what happened, didn’t take pills and so got pregnant. The 2nd was a baby I couldn’t keep too. Now I’m careful; protection and all but my abortions have made me respect single mothers. The fear and uncertainty that comes with the pregnancy can’t be explained and any woman who pulls through is brave. Funny thing is with the way my life is now; career, family background and all, people see me as a 21st century decent girl and even ask me to mentor their teen daughters cos I’m fashionable, good career etc. Would they think the same if I’ve had any of the babies I aborted? It’s a hypocritical society we live in. Live and let live peeps and allow people choose their sin.

    • Freefallin'

      August 3, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      I love the way you say “it was a baby I couldn’t keep” laughing so hard while tears free fall down my face.

  9. DLP

    August 2, 2016 at 8:48 am

    I so love the writers point of view, Nigerians are so weird everything is all about religion, we are so judgmental. People should be allowed to make their choices and we should allow them be.

  10. Nancy

    August 2, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Now this is it. People are so judgemental.
    I like that she is saying, she won’t do it herself but she would never judge.
    That is how it should be.

    Lots of hypocrites in Nigeria. Check the street and see how many children walking around without care and love.

    Who are you to judge? Are you pure? Are you sinless? Live and Let Live!

  11. oo

    August 2, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Add Cristiano Ronaldo to that list

  12. florenda

    August 2, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    well said. i am all for freedom to make decisions, tis true that most decisions are circumstantial, abortion or keeping it may be hard either way but. the question of choice precedes d question of whether we are considering God’s standard or ours. true we are all sinners……but does abortion make me feel any better? if it doesn’t why not go with d more noble option and let God’s plan come to pass?

  13. molarah

    August 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    See, let’s face up to some hard-core truths.

    Number 1: We are all judgemental. Not some of us, not a proportion, but all of us. Remember the outrage we show in our comments when a rape or domestic violence incident is reported? That’s judgement, against the rapist and the beater, and rightful one as well. Even in the most mundane areas of life, everyone of us is passing judgement. Lemme even get this mundane: you are wearing a blue blouse this morning, because you judged the green, white, purple blouses in your wardrobe as not being worthy to wear today. Anytime you make a decision between two clear-cut choices, you are passing judgement, or making a judgement call as is termed in common parlance. So let’s be conscious of the double-edged connotation of the word “judgemental” when we use it, so we don’t dig a logical hole for ourselves when we have these discussions.

    Number 2: I’m sure someone was reading through my number 1 and rolling their eyes, hissing, “Of course that’s not the judgemental-ism being referred to here!” And I get it. THAT’S not what is being referred to. What’s been referred to is other people not drawing the line and letting you slide concerning the decision you make with your body. Which brings me to my number 2 truth:

  14. molarah

    August 2, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Number 2: Society is never going to mind its business. Ever. No matter how many pro-choice, pro-anything groups try to tip the earth’s rotational axis off by 10, 100, 180 degrees, some things are never going to slide past societal concern and weigh-in. And face it, you ARE society. Let’s stop being hypocritical here. Who can confidently raise their hand and say that they have NEVER weighed in on any issue that did not concern them? We weigh-in, all the time, every day. With our words, with our time, with our resources. We weigh in for good causes , like we did for Mayowa and several others that have requested for assistance in one way or another. We weigh in for the mundane and not-s0-good causes, I mean! BellaNaija itself thrives as a business because people WEIGH IN, via blog visits and comments, on posts and articles that have NOTHING to do with themselves. So if we see no problem in weighing in on a trite issue as whether Bolanle wore the dress better than Toke, why, on earth, on God’s green planet, will we suddenly develop a problem about weighing in when the life of an unborn person, is on the line??? Why is this the issue that we must suddenly mind our business about? Why is it when a human life is on the line, that we must now be ordered by pro-choice society, to play the ostrich? Anyone with a good enough explanation needs to educate me.

    These are the truths about abortion that remain:
    – Abortion remains murder, and it does not end a pregnancy, only delivery does. Abortion only makes a woman the mother of a dead baby.
    – Several have committed this murder and are burdened with the guilt of this crime. Forgiveness is available in Jesus Christ.
    – As decent humans, we have an obligation to speak up and prevent this evil from occurring, not cower down and claim it’s not our right to judge. As souls in infallible flesh, we are duty-bound to speak these truth in love, and not in condemnation as we are not above temptation.

    • Naijatalk

      August 2, 2016 at 10:49 pm

      When you have personally experienced the trauma of rape, and are conflicted on what to do with the pregnancy, please allow us weigh in on your eventual decision . Life is not always black and white. Even Our God who is just and who said Thou shall not kill, ordered the children of Israel under the leadership of Saul to go kill their enemies and spare not even a child, baby, even animals were not to be spared. I am sure there were babies, pregnant women killed too, but this directive came from GOd ba. He was angry when Saul spared the king.
      My point is Pro-choice does not mean anti-life. People should be able to decide just like Mayowa the example you cited should be able to decide that she doesn’t want any more chemicals bombarding her system and she just wants to go peacefully. Choice over your personal life is what matters here. We may have our own opinions but as humans who were created by a God who gave us FREE WILL, we cannot impose our will when God himself has not done so.

    • Rwen

      August 3, 2016 at 7:43 am

      @molarah. Thanks for presenting your case so nicely and logically. I wish I could like your comments a thousand times. Thank you.

  15. Kiki

    August 2, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    A woman should be allowed to do whatever she wants to do with her body. Abortion is a sin? So is lying or even stealing. A sin is a sin, stop glorifying any over the other. The best option is abstinence still but no matter what, do whatever makes you happy and guarantees your peace of mind. If you can bring up a child in a healthy, conducive way, kudos to you! But if you think it’s not right for you at that time, kudos to you too! Having an abortion itself is nt an easy task. It has psychological effects and one might die from the process, so deciding to do so, is in fact a war in itself. So stop being a judgemental and hypocritical prick! Everyone has their battles to fight, just be grateful yours isn’t about deciding to keep a child or not.

  16. LL

    August 2, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    We keep saying “don’t be judgemental” but we judge people who kill. Don’t we? I believe abortion is a difficult choice and the person who commits it is likely to suffer the most. In the same way, it is their sin but because it is their sin does not mean another life is not being affected. Pro-choice people keep saying a woman should be allowed to do what she wants with her body, but is that foetus her body? Even though there are difficult situations like rape etc, abortion has become a way to “remove an inconvenience” for many women and you still say we should not judge? Why then should we judge people who murder others because they “don’t like them”.? What is really the difference? And sincerely, the fact that the world would go to the length of scientifically trying to prove if the foetus is life or not just shows how far we are willing to go to do our desires at any other’s expense. It is funny how a foetus will be called a child and even “Instagram worthy ” when people feel like and when they feel like they declare that same foetus non-viable. God help us.

    • Rwen

      August 3, 2016 at 7:42 am

      @Ll. Absolutely. A thousand likes. Thanks.

  17. Nancy

    August 2, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    @LL how can you compare the two.
    One is different and extreme.

    Did you see the part she mentioned putting water on fire and removing it because it is not hot?
    I agree with most of what you have said but comparing abortion to killing people is just different.

    Secondly, the writer clearly is preaching ABSTINENCE! Go up again and see that.
    She is talking about people that have had their rights trampled. She is specific about a daughter and father situation. She is not justifying it in any way.

  18. Jojo

    August 3, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    What am hearing and reading here is: YOU PEOPLE SHOULD ALLOW PEOPLE WHO WANT TO MURDER THEIR CHILDREN TO KILL THEM IN PEACE. #okayo!! #issorait

  19. Nanbam

    August 15, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    My dear friend, Rejoice Abutsa am proud of you. Every choice we take and every decision we make, we should be prepared for the outcome. #OurlivesOurchoice

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