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NYT: Must Read re. Reproductive Issues! Nightmare for African Women...

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Pachamama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:56 AM
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NYT: Must Read re. Reproductive Issues! Nightmare for African Women...
This is perhaps one of the saddest articles and most telling about the dire situation of women around the world (in this case Africa) when it comes to reproductive health and the reason and need for family planning, contraception, and the much needed funding for the medical assistance to help these women in 3rd world countries. I read this article today and was sickened by the idea that not only do these women suffer this way (and die!) but the needless number of babies that are dieing, and the fact that for 5 years straight, the Bush administration has prohibited the congressional approved funding for family planning to both the UN Population Fund and ofcourse any funding to the int'l arm of Planned Parenthood. And then I realize too how delicate and dangerously close we here in the US are to possibly losing our reproductive rights and options. This article sheds light on real issues and why reproductive rights and healthcare and its options are so important.

Nightmare for African Women: Birthing Injury and Little Help


KATSINA, Nigeria - Dr. Kees Waaldijk began surgery shortly before 10 a.m. one recent Saturday in a cement-walled operating room in this city near Nigeria's northern border. More than five hours later, orderlies carried the last of four girls to the recovery ward. In the near-90 degree heat, Dr. Waaldijk's light blue surgical garb had turned dark with sweat.

What brings the girls to Dr. Waaldijk - and him to Nigeria - is the obstetric nightmare of fistulas, unknown in the West for nearly a century. Mostly teenagers who tried to deliver their first child at home, the girls failed at labor. Their babies were lodged in their narrow birth canals, and the resulting pressure cut off blood to vital tissues and ripped holes in their bowels or urethras, or both.

Now their babies were dead. And the would-be mothers, their insides wrecked, were utterly incontinent. Many had become outcasts in their own communities - rejected by their husbands, shunned by neighbors, too ashamed even to step out of their huts.


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ralphwiggum Donating Member (11 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:04 AM
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1. So sad
can't comment further without crying.
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Pachamama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:10 AM
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2. It's awful! And to think of these young girls suffering like this, their
babies dieing and sometimes they themselves dieing too (1 in 18 die during childbirth!) is just wrong.

The reality is this....even if someone is personally opposed to abortion, they cannot and shouldn't ever deny the plain fact that especially in the countries like Africa where young girls are getting pregnant repeatedly and dieing in childbirth or suffering this way from fistulas and the complications, that there needs to be birth control and family planning made available and healthcare services.

This "culture of life" rhetoric can only be so credible until the reality hits that because of the halting of funding for these women, they are not able to have family planning that might help them in not having more pregnancies than they want or can handle, or c-sections at hospitals and family planning clinics, or repair surgery for fistulas etc.

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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:49 AM
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3. Hi ralphwiggum!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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