MEDICAL STUDENT

And Then There Was None

An oppressed people without a voice, unrelenting in its lamentations, will remain under the thumb of the oppressor for as long as he wants and in conditions as tight and dreary as his appetite allows him. Some would say that as time goes on, a tyrant only gets more blood-thirsty and callous insofar as he goes unchecked.
 
Now an embryologist would have no inhibitions describing how, as soon as the sperm penetrates the egg and the pronuclei fuse, a new organism results. Thus, a rapidly-dividing cell comes to be and in days, the heart is formed and starts beating. One thing leads to another. One growth prompts another. An enzyme here, a hormone there and in some nine months, the cries of a babe saturates the air currents as it takes its first lungful of air. Unless of course, in a most revolting alliance, one who took the oath to preserve life (yes, it is a living mass of flesh and blood in there), strangles one who is yet to have a go at life.
 
It’s apparent that the mother’s health has taken quite a plunge since she conceived. The blastocyst, the gastrula, the embryo, the foetus (whichever you may) is ‘apparently’ killing her. Are we to watch the mother die because it’s unethical to abort the baby? First, we need to ask ourselves, “Are there really cases where abortion is the only answer to the preservation of a mother’s life?” If indeed there is, would an abortion be justified? Are we to place the life of one over the other? For even in the seed, the fruit is. Our intentions do matter. Intention’s what makes a good, real or apparent. You have a duty to keep mother and child whole and entire. If the best of both worlds elude all possible solutions, and either of them kicks the bucket, you would have saved a life without having ended another. All effort has been made to preserve both lives but that has failed; an action, worlds apart from direct killing. “Direct means that the destruction of the child is willed as the end or the means to another end”.
 
Perhaps, she’s a single mother. Or maybe a student; someone who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? Why should she suffer because of the depravity of man, you say. Perchance, if she brought a child into this world, he or she would know nothing but pain and misery. And then I ask, has the price of a life been set at a certain level of prosperity and convenience? If it has, how dare we, with our blackened hands, speak up against the extremists and radicals of this world who mow down their fellow humans? It was an accident, you say! What it has came to be is a human being, whose right to breathe the air you breathe cannot be taken away, just because his existence wasn’t planned for. It’s merciful to the mother? Oh, may you rethink that. Post-abortion testimonies abound, they’re just a few megabytes and a couple of keystrokes away.
“Well then, aren’t we being just a tad insensitive to the rape victim? She has been traumatized, do you not care about that? She will gaze upon this child and relive the horror and shame of those few moments, is that of no importance to you?” Aren’t we jumping the gun here? Hurting and killing her child, will that bring her respite? Or will that just be another stigma and trauma she’ll have to relive every time she beholds another child and thinks of what could have been? Perhaps for she whose wellbeing matters so much to us, we begin with some counsel; imbuing the healing process with true concern and love. And having done that, the striking question heads straight for our hearts and minds: should we not extend the same love and compassion to the unborn child. Can not our concern be more inclusive? WHY MUST WE END A LIFE TO KEEP ANOTHER INTACT? For truly, to cater for one is to cater for the other; to maim one is to mar the other.
 
So to me, you and you who someday might be faced with a choice to continue or undo the work already started in the womb, directly or not, let us remember the sacredness of life; may we look in the mirror, be thankful for the chance we have been given to become who we are, and seek not to deprive another that which was a free gift to us, consequences be damned. Whenever you can, with words well-said or actions rightly directed and uncompromising, abort abortion.

Amaji Obinna Charles

Obinna Amaji is a Content Manager and Editor at Pendical. He is part of a team that ensures that articles which appear on Pendical’s website (www.pendical.com) are as presentable as they may be. He is also a writer of prose and verse, and has had one of his po- ems published in an anthology. Perhaps more than anything, being a sucker for detail has greatly helped him in his work as editor. He has been the General Editor/ Board Secretary of the Preliminary and Preclinical arms of the press organisation of the University of Ibadan Medical Students’ Association. Presently, he is a member of the Association’s Senate. He immensely enjoys playing badminton and chess; and consumes literature on horror and crime with an almost unhealthy appetite. The second of three, he was born and raised in Eastern Nigeria. Being in the University of Ibadan, he has been on a number of medical outreaches to rural communities in Ibadan. He is in his fourth year of study in medical school, with special interests in trauma medicine. He runs a personal blog, Pieces, on WordPress

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