Women in Shompu and Murukuni communities in Kona ward of Jalingo, Taraba State have broken their silence on the continued increase in unplanned pregnancies in their communities.
Some of the women who spoke to Newspot decried the refusal of their male partners to embrace family planning and childbirth spacing
They have cited lack of access to family planning services as a major reason for unplanned pregnancies.
The women also identified lukewarm attitudes of men to all forms of contraceptives as a major cause of adolescent pregnancies.
Narrating her ordeals to our correspondent, 39 years old Ajarat Usman, who claimed to be a mother of eight children, said her desire to stop childbearing has been frustrated by her husband, who according to her has prevented her from visiting a hospital for family planning.
With her two years old baby strapped to her back, Ajarat complained that the bad attitude of male partners to family planning and childbirth spacing have not only led to the increase in unplanned pregnancies but also tells negatively on teenagers, who are going about with pregnancies.
Aligning her weight to that of Ajarat, a heavily pregnant Esther Bulus told our reporter that her dream of giving birth to children that she can adequately care for has been frustrated by her spouse.
She said her husband has banned her from visiting any family planning services.
The women said their spouses have not only denied them permission to access services but also refused to accompany them to health facilities.
They said the situation has continued to discourage health service providers from attending to them.
“Each time we attempt to visit family planning facilities here in our communities, service providers always refuse to attend to us because we did not get approval from our husbands,” said Salamtu.
The women called on the State House of Assembly to enact laws that would encourage married women to give birth to the number of children they can cater for
When reached for confirmation, some of the male partners said their refusal to allow their wives access family planning services is based on their cultural beliefs.
Vowing never to allow any of his two wives go near health facilities or access family planning, Maijana Ali told our correspondent that his culture forbids “anything called family planning”.
Ali said ”if my parent had done family planning, would a person like me have been fortunate to be brought to this world? ”
Admitting that male partners play key roles in reproductive health, some service providers told Newspot that adequate laws will enable them administer such services on willing married women “with or without the approval of their husbands”.
”Some husbands have dragged us to police stations for administring family planning on their wives without their permission, enacting such laws would go a long way in saving us from embarrassments,” the service providers who craved anonymity said.
Why we have many unplanned pregnancies in Taraba – Community women