Abortion divides the Namibian house

Namibias have expressed strong support for access to contraceptives and comprehensive sex education, but opinions remain divided on the termination of pregnancies under various circumstances.

This was announced on Thursday in the newly released Afrobarometer report on sexual and reproductive health and rights in Namibia.

The Afrobarometer survey, conducted among 1 200 adult Namibians, reinforces the complex landscape of reproductive rights in the country, reflecting evolving societal norms and attitudes towards sexual health and women’s autonomy.

The survey, conducted by Survey Warehouse in March 2024, revealed that over 77% believe contraceptives should be universally accessible, regardless of marital status.

“A similar proportion (75%) of respondents say contraceptives should be available to everyone who is sexually active, regardless of age,” the report says.

According to the report women, younger respondents and educated citizens are particularly likely to endorse these perspectives.

The report says about 83% of Namibians are in favour of incorporating sex education into school curricula, underscoring a progressive stance among younger and more educated respondents.

“Overwhelming majorities of Namibians say that sex education should be taught in schools and that girls should be allowed to continue their schooling if they become pregnant or have children. Younger and educated citizens are more likely to favour these viewpoints,” the statement reads.

However, opinions diverge significantly on the topic of abortion.

While a majority agree that terminating a pregnancy is justified in cases of health risks (72%), rape or incest (60%) and severe economic hardship (52%), there is less agreement on other reasons.

Notably, 65% of respondents believe that women who choose to terminate pregnancies should face legal consequences, such as imprisonment.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News