…means so much more than hospitals. From the BBC:
“…this year is the moment when the world will decide where to spend tens of billions of pounds over the next five years in the push towards the MDGs.”
But Dr Horton said it was “outrageous” that the latest investment announced by the Gates Foundation would not fund abortion services.
He added: “Unsafe abortion contributes to one in seven maternal deaths across the world. These women are already stigmatised, and they shouldn’t be ignored.”
My thoughts exactly! However, what Dr. Horton fails to see is that precisely by creating the space for abortion to become routine while not addressing the fundamental issues, we are ignoring these women. After all, it’s not the unborn child that enables the stigmatization.
Why, you might ask, would women go to such desperate lengths to have an abortion? For many young women, the cultural stigma of being an unwed mother is so strong that they will go to any length to avoid bringing shame and disgrace to their families.
A few years ago, a family friend committed suicide because her boyfriend had disowned the five-month-old foetus burgeoning within her womb. In her note to her parents she stated it would be better to die than bring humiliation to their Christian name.
Inherent in this cultural stigma is often the desertion of the partner or male responsible for the pregnancy, thus relegating the woman to position of a single mother.
Therefore the fear of single motherhood leads to unsafe abortions. A fear stronger than the desire to preserve life, even their own. Why? Because it’s not ideal, it’s not socially acceptable, and it’s not easy. It is essential, then, not only to provide these women with access to safe and hygienic medical care but to bring about a social change that will acknowledge these women as deserving of the dignity that can empower them with the strength and social support to become mothers, even in the least ideal of circumstances. Maternal health means so much more than hospitals, but they’re a good place to start.by