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Use Punitive Measures to Fight Teenage Pregnancy — Vanderpuye

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The Member of Parliament (MP) for Odododiodio constituency, in the Greater Accra region, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye has advocated for punitive measures to be exercised in matters leading to teenage pregnancy.

He stated categorically that he would without any doubt exercise revolutionary measures in bid to curb the menace in his community.

According to him, the laws have become morbidly flaccid―allowing perpetrators to go scot-free when an adolescent girl is defiled.

Mr Vanderpuye made this statement in an interview with the Publisher, last Friday, at a forum organised by the Act for Change, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).

The MP said, “If you touch any adolescent, it is defilement and when you make her pregnant it is even worse. Already it is a crime but what we have failed to do is to make sure that people who do those things are made to face the law.

“We have covered some of these acts and irresponsible behaviours within our community for far too long. It is time we name and shame people and let the law take its full course.”

“As a leader of the community I would raise my thumbs for that if that is what would free my people from the cares of teenage pregnancy,” Mr Vanderpuye said.

Fight Teenage Pregnancy to prevent unsafe abortions

The MP says if teenage pregnancy is controlled, the likelihood of adolescent indulging in unsafe abortions would be prevented.

“…sometimes, it is not the wish of the child to get pregnant, either she was raped or abused. In such case, abortion can be considered but through the right method by a licensed doctor. But what am saying is that abortion is not legalised in Ghana,” he said.

Under the laws of Ghana, certain conditions like rape, incest, mental illness, minor pregnancy or health complications that could endanger the life of the mother and baby, allow a woman or a girl to undergo abortion by well-trained health providers in most government facilities

Statistics

Official figures state that 16 million adolescent girls give birth every year with 95 per cent coming from Low and middle-income countries (LMIC) and in Ghana, one out of eight pregnancies occur among teenagers.

Central region recorded about 14,000 teenage pregnancies in 2012; Greater Accra had 10,960 adolescent pregnancies in 2015.

Act For Change

It is a youth-led NGO based in Accra which uses interactive and popular theatre as well as other participatory methods to advocate issues that affect the society.

Source: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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