What does celebrating International Women’s Day (March 8th) look like from the perspective of Marie Stopes International? Sign up for their e-newsletters and find out.
Today, they are celebrating Sofia (age 17) who
lives in a rural village in Tanzania. She’s determined to complete her education and find a job that serves her community. She’s seen the ambitions of girls her age broken because of unplanned pregnancies. And she doesn’t want that to happen to her.
Sophia knows that a Marie Stopes Tanzania outreach team visits her village regularly to provide contraception. So, when she is ready to have sex she’ll be able to make choices to plan for her future.
You can read more about Sophia and her friends here.
In other words, they are celebrating the fact that sweet, young Sophia is going to get put on drugs, not to treat a disease, but to fool her body into “thinking” it is already pregnant, so that when she begins to have promiscuous sex (a likely scenario when you become sexually active at a young age) she won’t have THE most terrible of all things happen to her: PREGNANCY.
Does the Marie Stopes ‘outreach team’ warn these girls that 50% of all newly acquired HIV infections across the globe are occurring in women of reproductive age? Do they warn these girls that this is due to the powerful steriod-based drugs that alter their immunity and their cervical flora, making them more susceptible to infection? Do they warn them that once they have contracted HIV, these contraceptives have a debilitating effect, in that they lead to a deadly progression of the disease? (Report from the 2009 Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS)
And what about young Sofia’s heart when she becomes bonded to the men she is having sex with? What about the fact that none of these young people are being prepared for the long term commitment of a stable marriage?
Setting these young women on this course of broken hearts and dreams, not to mention the terrible risk of disease they will now face, is a crime against humanity.
Incidentally, the article mentions that the work of the “outreach team” is funded by USAID,
and is crucial in making sure that women in the village have choices: choices about whether to use contraception and – should they decide to – a choice of family planning methods.
Hmm… I wonder what those “family planning methods” might be?by