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Abel

Abel, a young male nurse from Ethiopia, tells a story he witnessed in 2016.

  • Drawing illustrating a man.
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    OTALT/Helene Karlsson

Abel´s story is collected from the material for the article “When the law makes doors slightly open: ethical dilemmas amongst abortion services providers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia” (See link below). The name is not his real name and the story has been anonymized.

Abel's story

Here, Abel recounts a traumatic experience that changed his view on abortion while working as a nurse at a health center in Addis Ababa:

One day, a woman showed up at my office with a desperate look on her face. She told me that she wanted an abortion because she had become pregnant outside of marriage. I sympathized with her, but I knew that this was not within one of the legal exceptions to have an abortion, and I sent her home.

I felt guilty because I could have avoided this terrible outcome if I had offered her the abortion.

Abel

A few days later, the same woman came back to the clinic. She was in the emergency room. She had tried to self-induce an abortion, but it had gone wrong. Unfortunately, she passed away later that day due to complications of the abortion. I felt guilty because I could have avoided this terrible outcome if I had offered her the abortion. After that episode I decided to never turn down a woman again, even if that means lying on her behalf in order to secure her a safe abortion.