Abortion is a critical issue that is hitting major forums in the world today. The abortion's key emergent issues are on its legalization and the various methods employed when carrying out abortion. What is more, the preferential rate of abortion is still high in the universities across the globe. Many female students are today carrying out abortion, even when in a serious relationship and exposed to numerous methods of preventing unplanned pregnancies. There are numerous reports about female university and college students dying while procuring an abortion. The case of Ayanda Masondo, a university student of twenty years of age, is a perfect example of the issue of abortion amongst the female university students leading to her death and act as an insight to important social concepts.
According to the report by Sapa (2012) Ayanda Masondo was a second-year female student in the University of Johannesburg and was pursuing a course in human resources. She was found dead in her room, in the Benjemijn hostel on the morning of Sunday 18th of March 2012. The paramedics pronounced her dead after she was found leaning against the door of her room. Owing to the blood found in the scene the Brixtone police station spokesman Constable Michael Kgatle indicated that the death could have resulted from an abortion, but the matter was to be investigated further. What was clear though, was that there were no signs of suicide (Sapa, 2012).
The case of Masondo’s death is not a lone issue as there are numerous reports on similar deaths and other complications following failed illegal abortion practices in South Africa and the world in general. From other various related cases of students who have become pregnant while in college, numerous challenges face them and the majority of them contemplate on abortion.
Since the case of abortion by Masondo form a part of a major social issue, its analysis gives insights to various sociological concepts such as deviance, crime, social control, social construction of reality, stratification, the sick role, alienation, and gender amongst others. Each of the social concepts however, has its unique degree of magnitude in the circumstances of Masondo.
Firstly, there is evidence of deviance in the case of Masondo. The fact that she was pregnant outside of marriage shows that she was deviant with the social expectation on proclamation of children. She also resorted to carrying out an abortion even though it is an illegal practice. All these points out to the fact that Masondo compromised on many socially accepted ethical issues. Her act of having an abortion shows that she disregarded the fetus she had conceived. At the same time, the report does not indicate anything about the man responsible for the pregnancy. This can work as an indication that the man was negligent and deviant of his responsibility.
Moreover, the death scene of Masondo spells out crime. The blood in the room acted as an evidence of a crime scene. Whether abortion or not, there was uncalled for death. The death of the mother as well as that of the fetus following a criminal act of abortion is a crucial concept of crime in sociology. The various reports on illegal abortions in the universities are a clear indication of the rampant crimes behind the walls of many university hostels.
There is also an evidence of the social control concept of sociology in the case of Masondo. Owing to the possibility that Masondo had carried out an abortion that led to her death, one can argue that Masondo was under some pressure of the social control. For instance, she could have been overwhelmed by the anxiety of what the society could have thought of her if her pregnancy caught the public eye. Likewise, the society condemns premarital pregnancies. This is one of the key reasons leading to the increasing number of abortion by ladies even if they are well off financially. The social control concept mandates poses some expectations to individuals, which can lead to their making of irrational decisions such as abortion.
The social construction of reality is another crucial concept in the event of Masondo’s abortion that led to her death. The society has set its rule of reality, and individuals are largely obliged to follow them. For instance, on the issue of premarital pregnancy, the society perceives it as an indication of promiscuity, without giving a thought of other possibilities, such as rape and committed relationship. The society is exerting pressure on college ladies to contemplate on abortion by imposing the constructed reality.
From the student’s reaction on Masondo’s death, it is clear that she was a reserved lady, which brings about the concept of alienation and stratification. There is a possibility that Masondo conspired for abortion solely, and that she did not seek professional counseling upon her realization of being pregnant. In many cases, college girls who discover that they are pregnant live in denial and alienate themselves from many aspects of college life such as positive socialization. Even with involvement of men in the event of pregnancy, the society stratification imposes the blame and burden to the ladies.
In conclusion, the abortion issue among the college and university students is significantly high. The case of Masondo’s death after undergoing an illegal abortion is just an example of the truth on the ground. The reality of illegal abortion therefore calls for objective actions especially on the pressure exerted to the premarital pregnancies, based on social concepts.
- Sapa, B. (2012, March 19). A University of Johannesburg student found dead in her residence room is thought to have developed complications after a botched illegal abortion. Sowetan Live. Retrieved April 6, 2012, from http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/2012/03/19/uj-student-dies-after-alleged-abortion