Abortion is ugly. But not having access to abortion is uglier:
Pregnancy and childbirth are among the greatest dangers that women face in Africa, which has the world’s highest rates of maternal mortality — at least 100 times those in developed countries. Abortion accounts for a significant part of the death toll.If I told you that for every 100,000 people who get in an airplane, 11 of them die, would you get into an airplane? If I told you, once seated, that the number was actually 950 for every 100,000, would you hurt yourself in your haste to get off that fucking death machine?
Maternal mortality is high in Tanzania: for every 100,000 births, 950 women die. In the United States, the figure is 11, and it is even lower in other developed countries. But Tanzania’s record is neither the best nor the worst in Africa. Many other countries have similar statistics; quite a few do better and a handful do markedly worse.
There's this stupid lie that we tell ourselves, that making new humans is this "beautiful" or "blessed" event, which takes no toll on the woman doing it, short of perhaps ruining her figure, and only the shallowest shrew would care about that!
But that's pie-in-sky BS: making babies is dangerous. Necessary, to a certain extent (actually, there's far more humans on the planet than the planet can sustain, so at the moment, it's not very necessary for most of us), but dangerous. It may be only a small percentage of women who actually die in the event, but serious medical complications are not uncommon: I know more than one woman who nearly died giving birth, and who did indeed suffer life-altering consequences to her body and mind from the process.
So it is reasonable to make access to birth control as widespread and cheap as possible. And when women get pregnant despite not wanting to (and increasing women's rights and power and agency and self-determination world wide will help to reduce that happening, by the way), safe, medical abortion must be available.
But unfortunately, it's not available, and as a result, women die:
Worldwide, there are 19 million unsafe abortions a year, and they kill 70,000 women (accounting for 13 percent of maternal deaths), mostly in poor countries like Tanzania where abortion is illegal, according to the World Health Organization. More than two million women a year suffer serious complications. According to Unicef, unsafe abortions cause 4 percent of deaths among pregnant women in Africa, 6 percent in Asia and 12 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean.But there's a solution to this horrendous problem: make abortion safe and legal -- and most importantly, rare. Make it rare by making birth control common and by empowering women.
If you don't, the market will respond, as in Tanzania:
He said rumor had it that many abortions were done by a man in Gairo, a town west of Berega. In some cases, he said, the abortionist only started the procedure, knowing that doctors would have to finish the job.This used to be how it was in the United States. It was these horrors that led to abortion being made legal here. But in places where abortion is illegal, they're still showing us our past; they're showing us why we need to keep abortion legal, no matter how many people (people of simple minds or who have not thought this through) object:
Still, women do not want to discuss what happened or even admit that they had anything other than a miscarriage, because in theory they can be prosecuted for having abortions. The law calls for seven years in prison for the woman.That's Tanzania's present and our past: it could be our future if we're not careful.