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Unwanted pregnancies on the rise in Bougainville

Unwanted pregnancies are on the rise in Bougainville, authorities have confirmed.

Peter Arwin of the Arawa Health Center said unwanted pregnancies are not just affecting teenage girls, but by elderly women who have many children also.

Mr Arwin revealed this after an incident yesterday where a newly born baby boy was strangled and drowned at Tupukas River in Arawa, Central Bougainville. His body was recovered by town residents with the rope still tangled around his tiny neck. Mr Arwin who looks after the Arawa and Panguna Health Centres said this is the first ever reported case with many unreported in Arawa and Bougainville as a whole.

“Cases liked this is happening all over Bougainville – mothers are illegally aborting their babies which is a murder case. This one case here is a criminal case and police will take it up because the baby has been safely delivered and killed afterwards,” Mr Arwin said of the dead baby found floating down Tupukas River early yesterday morning.

Mr Arwin is now encouraging both young and old married couples to seek vital family health services from stakeholders like Marie Stopes PNG who have opened up their unit at the Arawa Health Centre.

“Iam urging married couples or even individuals to come along and get vital advices on specific methods on family health services. Not only young couples, couples who have been married long time ago too must come for advices from health experts,” Mr Arwin said adding that male counterparts must bear in mind that women are not ‘machine’ and will bear children after children every year.

Mr Arwin said killing of the newly born baby could not be done only by teenagers but also by happily married couples because of unplanned pregnancies.

“Even good and happily married couples could do that. They could abort or kill a child because they haven’t planned for that baby.”

He said there are a high number of illegal abortions done nowadays using herbs and pharmaceutical drugs and women come for their normal routine checkups for cleansing with pretext of miscarriages, instead they’ve just aborted their babies.

Meanwhile, the body of the newborn baby was brought to Tunuru Catholic Mission and given a proper burial with a funeral Mass by Fr George Vasuksi.

Police have started their investigation into the matter. Post Courier/Pacific News
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