BE A MAN- OWN YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
I am sure a lot of us have heard about the new law in Lagos state, which ensures men take care of their responsibilities when they get women pregnant or face a jail term. In naija pidgin, we would say no more “chop and clean mouth”.
According to Governor Fashola, the law was passed to deal with the rise in criminal offenses and delay in administration of justice in Lagos. He went on to add that the law is necessary to help combat the steady decline in morality.
The debate every youth I have come across seem to be involved in is… “Was this law truly necessary or not?”
“Is this a welcomed development or an ill-conceived bill?”
There have been many opinions on twitter, facebook, blogs, and in face-to-face discussions. People seem to be divided. The ladies love the bill (of course), while some of the men just see it as a well-intentioned but ill-conceived bill. Somebody actually said that the bill allows for women to blame their pregnancies on well-to-do men who will have no choice but to claim responsibility.
I have quietly monitored conversations and weighed opinions and now I can clearly state that I am all for this bill. Some would say that is because I am a woman and I will not disagree. My being a woman plays a great role in my forming an opinion, but I am not so biased that I have not considered every other aspect. This said, I am going to present my case from a woman’s point of view. I would appreciate men countering my opinion with valid arguments.
I once heard of a young lady who had to drop out of school because she was pregnant and had been rejected by her lover, and consequently her family and friends who labeled her a whore. She had been dating this man for close to a year, he had a good job and had initially proclaimed all the love on earth to her, but as soon as the blood/ urine test turned out positive and the morning sickness became clear for what it was, he turned tail and ran. After a few months of trying to hold on to her sanity and morality, she could not continue. She had nothing to live on and could not even afford ante-natal classes. She felt she had no other option than to remove the pregnancy instead of continue in a life of misery which she would inevitably bring the child into. With this decision made, she went to a doctor who claimed he could help her remove the pregnancy. At the end of the day she was able to get rid of the pregnancy, but then she unknowingly got rid of her womb also.
Some people reading this would say “the bill to be passed should be to legalize abortions or create child support bills”. The legalizing of abortions however is a big Pandora box that I would be more courageous to open some other time. I want us to realize that the pregnancy, rejection, and abortion which would probably lead to a broken marriage tomorrow because of the womb damage, are all ripple effects. It takes one step to produce the other. If the lady had been confident that her partner was going to support her all through the pregnancy in every way he could, she would probably have thought twice about an abortion (maybe not, but let us think positive here).
This bill ensures that the rates of abortions and female mortality due to abortions are reduced. Would I be fair to deny the logic in this? Would you?
In regards to the point I stated earlier made by a young man on a blog, I refuse to agree a hundred percent that this would give ladies express permission to blame pregnancies on men. I do agree that some desperate ladies would see this as an opportunity to trap a man into whatever scheme they have concocted, but they can only carry the pretense for so long (9 months, actually). We should take a look at the bigger picture, hit and run relationships would come to an end (hopefully), and STDs would reduce significantly because more men would insist on rubber-tight protection (pun-intended). People would actually be more responsible about their sexual exploits. There was a post on a blog (www.divadomination.com) about something to this effect.
Now I have been a woman. I have embraced the bill fully. I should however emphatically state that I do not sanction a laxity in protection if happen to be adult enough to have sex. If you truly are adult enough to have sexual relations and you are not married to your partner, please make safety your number one priority.
As I mentioned earlier, I welcome arguments based on my opinion.