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Ebby Weyime, advocate for the child-free movement, at a speaking engagement in Nairobi, Kenya
Ebby Weyime, advocate for the child-free movement, at a speaking engagement in Nairobi, Kenya | Photo courtesy of Ebby Weyime

Woman in Kenya documents abortion, embraces child-free lifestyle movement

I immediately made an appointment with my doctor to discuss an abortion. I felt ready mentally but did not understand the physical implications of the process. I remained very careful throughout my life to ensure I did not get pregnant, so the slip-up proved to be an unexpected one. I documented the entire process on my YouTube channel.

Ebby Weyime is the founder of The Grace cup
Interview Subject
Ebby Weyime is the founder of The Grace Cup, Kenya’s premier reusable menstrual hygiene product. She is also a pro-choice and child-free advocate. Ebby is passionate about female reproductive health, especially for African women.
Background Information
According to Article 26(IV) of the Constitution of Kenya, abortion is prohibited and only allowed under special circumstances, like when the health of the mother is at risk. As times change more and more, Kenyan women are choosing to procure abortions even under harsh rules. This has led to unsafe abortions becoming a major cause of death and complications among women in Kenya.

Civil society organizations in Kenya have long advocated expanding women’s rights to safe and legal abortion. Over time, feminist activists are also driving the change to advance bodily autonomy.

NAIROBI, Kenya ꟷ I had an abortion in July 2020. Though I consulted my doctor every step of the way, nothing prepared me for the process I faced. My body went through five hours of excruciating pain while the medication took effect. Still, I preferred having an abortion over a lifetime of regret, raising a child I never wanted.

A time existed when I did aspire to motherhood, like many girls growing up in African society where the role remains glorified. In time, though, the idea became less and less enticing. When I got pregnant in 2020 the news devastated me. The financial and emotional implications of raising a child made no sense to me and I knew I did not want to have children.

Immediately, I made an appointment with my doctor to discuss an abortion. I felt ready mentally but did not understand the physical implications of the process. Since I remained very careful throughout my life to ensure I did not get pregnant, the slip-up proved to be an unexpected one. I documented the entire process on my YouTube channel.

In the comments, some people applauded my decision, while others condemned me. I take those comments for what they are – opinions. At the end of the day, society will not help me raise my child.

Woman embraces a child-free lifestyle, defies the stigma

Months down the line, I decided to make a more permanent decision. I underwent a process called tubal ligation. In this sterilization procedure, which is mostly permanent, doctors tie a woman’s tubes, preventing future pregnancy scares. I never wanted to go through an unexpected pregnancy again.

In Kenya, abortions remain severely restricted so many women obtain them in secret. I chose to have my abortion publicly. Before going public, I notified my parents of my decision. They felt unhappy but knew for some time I never wanted children. They hoped I would change my mind someday, but I did not.

Courage prompted to me to take my experience to the public sphere. I wanted autonomy over my body and to let women going through similar circumstances know they were not alone. Throughout the process, I received many messages from men and women supporting my decision to be vocal about living a child-free lifestyle. Some detailed their own experiences or even asked for help procuring a safe abortion.

In Kenya, the process remains shrouded in secrecy and shame. Women become vilified and branded as killers, prostitutes, and unfit for marriage. Society brings us up to believe we have no say over our bodies. I choose a child-free (CF) lifestyle. It accords me the freedom and space to explore myself and the world around me to the fullest. I do not have to divide my attention and energy between my own efforts and raising another human being.

Without being burdened by unwanted motherhood, I can build my wealth, grow my businesses, travel the world, and enjoy a sexual life. Perhaps I will settle down in my sunset years and fully living out my youthfulness. 

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Lola Wanyonyi is an experienced Multi-media Journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya, and holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Communication and Journalism from Moi University. She is Skilled in headline writing, breaking news, media relations, Online News, and News Writing. She is a contributing editor to various international media news outlets.