Bottom line: birth control works really well when you use it correctly all the time.
BY ITS fifth month, Beatriz’s pregnancy had become dangerously complicated. Scans showed that the fetus was developing without parts of its brain and skull and would not survive more than a few hours outside the womb. Beatriz (not her real name) was suffering from kidney problems and lupus, an autoimmune disease, which had become so acute that her doctors said she risked death too. With the backing of El Salvador’s health ministry, she decided to terminate the pregnancy.
Not so fast, said the Supreme Court, ruling on May 29th that the constitution’s protection of all citizens “from the moment of conception” meant that abortion could not be permitted in any circumstances. Hours later, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered that the government should give Beatriz’s doctors access “without interference” to whatever measures were necessary to save her life.
A compromise was reached: rather than have an abortion, Beatriz could undergo a premature caesarean section. Since she was already past 20 weeks of pregnancy, the operation could be considered an “induced birth”, not an abortion, the health ministry said. This seemed to satisfy the courts. On June 3rd the baby was delivered, and died a few hours later. Beatriz was in intensive care as The Economist went to press.
This sorry story and its face-saving solution is typical of the ineffective abortion regime present in most of Latin America. At the urging of the Catholic church, abortion is banned under all circumstances—including rape, and where the mother faces death—in Chile, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Suriname, as well as in El Salvador. In most other countries it is highly restricted. Only Cuba, Guyana, Puerto Rico and Uruguay offer abortion on demand (so does Mexico City, unlike the rest of Mexico).
(From The Economist)
“It is my fundamental philosophy that patients are emotionally, mentally, morally, spiritually and physically competent to struggle with complex health issues and come to decisions that are appropriate for them.” - Dr. George Tiller
Four years ago Dr. Tiller, an abortion provider in Wichita, Kansas, was murdered. Today we remember his courageous and compassionate work as both a health care provider and a women’s health advocate.
As illustrated by this infographic, the road to obstetric fistula is fraught with delays: delays in the progression of labour, delays in getting to an appropriate facility, delays in getting the proper health treatment.
For those women unfortunate enough to sustain a fistula as a result, some are able to get the advice, care and support that leads to a brighter future. Meanwhile, an estimated 2 million women and girls remain left in the isolation of living with a condition that causes incontinence and intense suffering. The goal of the Campaign to End Fistula is to prevent the condition from occurring in the first place, and to ensure that more women have an opportunity to recover from it and regain their lives.
The infographic was produced for the Campaign to End Fistula in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, a long standing supporter of fistula programmes and efforts to reduce fistula and maternal mortality by scaling-up access to maternal health services and skilled birth attendants.
(From Campaign to End Fistula)
It’s National Women’s Health Week. Make your health a priority and schedule a well-woman checkup today.
Seventeen pregnant teenage girls and 11 babies have been rescued from a house in Nigeria’s south-eastern Imo state, police have said.
They say they are looking for a woman suspected of planning to sell the babies.
“The girls claimed they were fed once a day and were not allowed to leave the home,” said spokeswoman Joy Elomoko.
It is not uncommon for such “baby factories” to be found in south-eastern Nigeria.
The rescued girls said they had all been made pregnant by a 23-year-old man, who has been arrested, reports the AFP news agency.
The European Union says Nigeria, along with China, is one of the biggest sources of people trafficked into Europe, where they are often forced into prostitution.
In 2011, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (Naptip), said their investigations showed that babies are sold for up to $6,400 (£4,200) each.
Poor, unmarried women face tough choices if they get pregnant in Nigeria, often facing exclusion from society, correspondents say.
Naptip says desperate teenagers with unplanned pregnancies are sometimes lured to clinics and then forced to turn over their babies.
The babies can be sold for illegal adoption, used for child labour or prostitution or sometimes killed with their body parts used for ritual purposes.
March 8 - International Day of the Woman
Violence is an issue that blights the futures of millions of women and girls, every day, all over the world and impedes a nations’ social and economic development.
With that in mind…the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women’.
Learn more here and lets make an effort to celebrate next years’ International Day of the Woman as we should…with joy and cheers.
From China to Costa Rica, from Mali to Malaysia acclaimed singers and musicians, women and men, have come together to spread a message of unity and solidarity: We are “One Woman”.
Launching on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2013, the song is a rallying cry that inspires listeners to join the drive for women’s rights and gender equality. “One Woman” was written for UN Women, the global champion for women and girls worldwide, to celebrate its mission and work to improve women’s lives around the world.
This year, International Women’s Day focuses on ending violence against women — a gross human rights violation that affects up to 7 in 10 women and a top priority for UN Women. As commemorations are underway in all corners of the globe, “One Woman” reminds us that together, we can overcome violence and discrimination: “We Shall Shine!” Join us to help spread the word and enjoy this musical celebration of women worldwide.
If this cartoon makes you uncomfortable, it should. Egyptian cartoonist Doaa Eladl — never one to shy away from tough issues — is commenting on genital mutilation.
From the archives: An interview and profile of Eladl from The World’s Carol Hills.
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a day to “Share Knowledge. Take Action.” The nationwide observance held each March 10 sheds light on the disease’s often overlooked impact on women and girls and empowers people to make a difference.
Every year on this important day, thousands of people, advocacy organizations, and local and state public health officials share the facts about HIV/AIDS and how it affects women and girls. They also take action in a variety of ways, such as:
You can help, too! Together, we can educate others, change behaviors, and help shape the future for women and girls.