Sexual abuse of minors may leads to adverse long term reproductive health consequences. Some victims may get pregnant and they are also susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS. The African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) argued that HIV/AIDS may be a cause and a consequence of sexual exploitation of children (ANPPCAN 2001).
Minors who become pregnant as a result of sexual abuse are also susceptible to long term health problems associated with early motherhood. One problem associated with early motherhood is increased morbidity such as obstetric fistula (a hole in the birth canal) and risk of death from childbirth (Lai & Regan 1995).
In some cases it is considered that, the girl is better off married or catered for by the rapist or perpetrators such marriages in my opinion must be discouraged. As the victim who is also pregnant may have low leverage in such a marriage and often get kicked out of their marital homes or abandoned.
In some instances the victim and their family may try to secure an abortion for varied reasons. Thereby increasing their risk of death and long term psychological, spiritual and reproductive health problems associated with abortions.
Economic hardship is often associated with teenage pregnancy and attendant complications.
In some villages in Ghana victims may access informal court (traditional chiefs) for justice where some families of victims of child sexual abuse prefer not to prosecute when the offence results in pregnancy because the overriding concern is the upkeep of the victim and the unborn child. Money is therefore offered and often accepted in lieu of prosecution.
The African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN). (2003)
Lai S.Y. & Regan E.R. (1995). Female Sexual Autonomy and Human Rights. Harvard Human Rights Journal, 8: 201-227.