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02.06.2005 Regional News

Women cautioned that contraceptives cannot abort pregnancies

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Ho, June 02, GNA - Mrs Josephine Edum-Fotwe, a Public Health Nurse of the Reproductive and Child Health Unit of the Ho Municipal Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has said certain forms of contraception could not abort pregnancies.

She said it was a misplaced expectation to go to family planning clinics days after copulation with the hope of preventing a pregnancy.

Mrs Edum-Fotwe was addressing a meeting of market women operating in the Ho Central Market on Wednesday to sensitise them on unsafe abortions.

She said contraception methods were meant to block pregnancies and not to get rid of them when they occurred.

''At best, within three days of having sex and no more, a woman who is not under any form of contraception and wants to avoid getting pregnant should see a trained family planning official for help.'' Ms Margaret Akpabi, the Ho Municipal Public Health Nurse, said the best antidote to unwanted pregnancies was not abortion but contraception.

She said all forms of contraception being dispensed under the guidance of the Ghana Health Service were largely safe and reliable if used according to directives.

Ms Akpabi told the GNA that cases of unsafe abortions occurred often in the municipality but could not immediately give statistics. Madam Theresa Mansa Dagbe, Regional Market Queen, said the forum was a follow up to a conference organized by the African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA) at GIMPA in Accra last month on unsafe abortion and reproductive implications within the legal and policy framework in Ghana.

She expressed regret that the targeted group of young women sellers in the market failed to attend the forum but expressed the hope that the mainly post-menopausal audience would educate their children on issues raised.