On Abortion, Homosexuality and Parenting

(c) Flickr user Sabian Maggy

(c) Flickr user Sabianmaggy

A friend of mine wants to terminate her three months pregnancy. That came out too soft. She wants to kill her baby. Too harsh maybe? She wants to abort the child growing in her womb.

She had been having her period as usual and only went to the hospital because she didn’t ‘feel well’. That was a few days ago. From what she told me, she broke-up with the father of the baby and he either has no idea about the pregnancy (she can’t reach his phone) or  doesn’t want to hear about it. Either way, he’s not here now. Who am I to judge him? I don’t know why he did it nor where he is, but letting this young woman go through this ordeal without someone who is as equally responsible is  the true mark of a coward.

Yesterday evening, she told me of her intention and asked for my assistance. No, I am not a doctor. She needs the money to carry the procedure. I am not going to go into a pro or anti-abortion debate. I don’t need one because I believe in two things:

  1. Free will
  2. Choice

You have the freewill to choose your thoughts and beliefs. I have mine. And when it comes to abortion, I won’t agree with anyone that a child should be aborted. Ever.

I am a man. I will never be pregnant. I don’t know what it means to have a child.

On all three counts, you are right. I don’t know what it means to have a baby. Heck, I don’t even have a child. So, who am I to give childbearing or parenting advice?

I am a human. And my only reason is this: I was born. You are able to read this because my mother chose to have me. Also, she did not do it alone. A woman does not conceive alone. That, also, is why I don’t agree with homosexuality. I will not kill a lesbian or gay. Or not talk to them or shun them. No. We are all puny humans and die anyway. Plus, it is pointless. Only God judges us. But, I will not agree that being a homosexual is ‘okay’ for me.

I don’t know if homosexuality is a mental illness. I don’t even know if people are born homosexuals. Being born is fine. And there are worse illnesses. I would not be surprised if I have friends who are homosexuals. Knowing you are a homosexual doesn’t stop me from interacting with you. I don’t have the monopoly of opinions and I won’t be as stupid as to decide who has the right to do what. But you won’t find me anywhere fighting for Gay Rights. I could fight for human rights because everyone is human, But I won’t fight with what my gut disagrees. So no, I don’t think homosexuals should get married. I won’t pull them out of the court but I won’t rejoice when they succeed. At least, I still reserve my right not ‘not be happy’. Before being a homosexual, you’re a person and you have as much Human Rights as I do.

Every person deserves justice, fairness and freedom of expression.

And, no. I don’t think women should abort their babies. I think they should choose to have their babies when they want because a child is the sum of creation. A child is the most beautiful thing human can make. UI designers might disagree.

I don’t know how I will convince my friend to keep her baby. She doesn’t want to tell her parents. I won’t tell either. She came to me because she trusted me and I am not stupid. Trust is the world’s currency. Her mind seems pretty made up. I will try though.

I called another friend whom I thought could help me in my quest. As we were chatting, I stumbled upon the possible reason why an unwanted child could creep on a young university student

“I guess it’s the Molyko virus. Or just plain stupidity. Or what happens when parents don’t make their children comfortable with them”.

So here are a few personal facts: I hide things from my parents. I am not a saint. I have hurt people’s feelings. Intentionally. I have things I regret. And there are things I have done or said I am ashamed of.

  1. Free will
  2. Choice

I have chosen to NOT say those things. And I have learned to choose my thoughts. Like my mentor says: ‘Don’t time travel’. No one can change the past, and no one can predict the future. So why waste valuable energy?

I love my parents. I am lucky to have them both alive. And I am grateful for them. Of course they have their weaknesses. And of course they have made me question my sanity every so often. But isn’t that what being a child is all about? There is no parenting manual .I don’t blame them for their effort.

Except for that time when they came late during the PTA when I was advertising the school magazine. I wish they saw me. They would have been so proud.

Nonsense. I know they are proud of me. They have said it many times.

Mom, Dad I love you both.

What if my mom had aborted me? Now you know why I can’t support abortion.

But life is full of blurred lines. Of humans with various backgrounds and of  thousands of reasons to do or not do whatever. I am but a tiny speck in the billions of souls.

But I am a speck. A speck born of two other specks. I am their speck and they gave me a home, shelter, love, food, care, protected me, vaccinated me, clothed me, and for the past 25 years have always told me this:

“Kamga, you did not ask to be born so, you are our responsibility. Whatever problem you have, talk to us. We are your parents. If you were terminally ill and feces was coming out of you, we will be very willing to carry your feces with our bare hands.”

The relationship I have with my parents has not always been good. I was an adolescent too. I am learning every day. From all indications, so are they.

My father is the first person I call when I do something awesome and I want to share. He reads my posts and encourages me to keep writing.  For 21 years he has been working on his start-up. If that is not a lifetime of courage for me, what is? My mother is the rock of my father’s house. But this is not a tribute.

I believe the reason why I can talk  comfortably (to an extent) with my parents, is because they chose to know and understand me better. That I felt they could listen to me and try as much as possible ( I have seen how difficult it is) to not judge me.

Being a parent is hard. I am not one. But my premise is simple: there is no manual, no school, no Faculty of Parenting and Childhood: Department of Dads. Having this new weird human who just eats, cries and shits must be a pretty interesting experience.

I can’t wait to have mine.

Many Cameroonian parents don’t know their children. I have not carried out the research. So sorry if I don’t have data to back this argument. Having spent 20 years with my peers in classrooms and lecture halls with  hundreds of conversations with young people in the privacy of dormitories and hostels, I can comfortably say that Cameroonian parents have no idea who their kids REALLY are.Or what they are capable of. Their true interests, potentials, dreams, hopes and aspirations and also their sins, evils, worries and regrets.  Of course there are exceptions. But I am not. I think my parents have an idea of who I am. But not entirely.

And I want to think that this poor understanding between parents and children expresses itself sometimes in the form of a daughter who has not slept for three days because she just discovered she is pregnant and believes her parents will kill her if she tells them.

This saddens me. Having to live in a shadow you have cast to hide who you are. Not being able to tell the person who brought you to this world how you feel and not having them celebrate how much you’ve grown. Or changed.

A child doesn’t remain a child forever. Yes, to our parents, we might remain  their babies till death. But we both know at some point, we want them to see us differently.

Parents seem to feel when this day draws close and some don’t take it so well. I guess watching your baby become a woman is like watching a caterpillar. Slowly transforming into a butterfly and knowing it would fly away.

Bad parenting comes from keeping the butterfly in a glass cage.

Do I blame parents for what their children turn out to be? Do I blame children for not trusting their parents and not being themselves?

  1. Free will
  2. Choice

I don’t know if she would keep the baby. I don’t know if her parents will kill her if they find out. I don’t know if homosexuals should be allowed to marry and adopt babies. I don’t know.

But I know I want that baby to live.

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8 comments

  1. Very interesting. Unique Style of writing. I agree with you we all have choices. The unfortunate thing is that when our choices seem contrary people label us but then such is life. I hope you were able to convince ‘that girl’ to keep the baby.
    I agree with your stance on homosextuality. If they have a free will to express themselves, so do others. I don’t hate people but I hate practices and attitudes I consider contrary to nature. That is my choice I think and I have the same right to express it. Will be stopping by I thorougly enjoy this.

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    1. Thank you Arrey. “The unfortunate thing is that when our choices seem contrary people label us but then such is life”. Such is life indeed.

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  2. Contradictory if you ask me … You say we have the free will to do what we want to do, you say we have choice yet in the same breath you don’t agree with abortion and or homosexuality? How these two topics got joined into one is beyond me.
    Men are always quick to say they do not agree with abortion … which is funny you have not and will not ever have the chance to carry a baby. where it for that alone, I would say STFU and go stand in the back … but lets move to the next thing: Do you really understand this young woman’s circumstances? Do you know what the future holds for that baby she is caring? No body knows but rather than bring that baby to this world with no means of sustenance, she is perfectly within her rights to get rid of it. I am sure if you was (I know the real word for that spot is “were”) the one carrying that baby your opinion would be different …
    On the subject of homosexuality, I got just a simple question: what has the going ons of two consenting adults got to do with you? If two males or two females are doing each other why is it affecting you. the amount to time that heterosexuals spend discussing homosexuals is astounding. Do you think that homosexuals spend time worry about sex between heterosexuals?

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read. I respect your opinion and your beliefs. I believe we all have those. I am more pleased, however, that I got you voicing yours. Thanks.

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  3. Hey! Ineteresting.
    *adjusting my glasses before writing in that language that I love most: listening*
    … Let me continue in french. I guess u don’t mind.
    🙂
    On serait tenté de dire à l’envie, que nous ne devons pas juger. Ce qui est remarquable ici, c’est la neutralité qui trahit en même temps une espèce de lassitude. Personnellement, je continue de croire qu’on porte en nous les diktats de notre société. Fais ci, ne fais pas ça. Toujours est- il qu’on a nos convictions. C’est parfait.
    Mais prendre la peine de connaitre l’autre est mieux, pour sortir de sa zone de confort des fois. Réaliser que les convictions sont issues d’un schème social certes mais! L’écoute et la considération de son vis-à- vis importe plus que jamais. Surtout dans ce monde extrêmement nuancé. On pourrait débattre, mais ce serait rédiger un nouvel article. une nouvelle publication. 🙂

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    1. We both know I don’t mind! 😉 I agree with you when you say What matters is the person and knowing the PERSON in front of you.
      I was listening to a radio programme yesterday and a caller said: ” I don’t hate homosexuals but I hate homosexuality”, Me too. I have a voice and mine doesn’t stand for it. Doesn’t mean I won’t make friends with homosexuals or whatever. My beliefs are mine to voice insofar as I don’t hurt anyone’s. J’ai hate de lire la nouvelle publication. 🙂 P.S Thanks for taking the time to read!

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