31 July 2009

If men had uteruses

There is an excellent NY Times op-ed piece by always-impressive Nicholas Kristof called "Crises in the Operating Room" about the utter lack of focus by world powers on birth resources in developing countries. While our fight here is against too much and unnecessary intervention, in other countries life-saving intervention can be hard to come by for those in poverty...the single birth story in the op-ed is chilling.

Here's the meat of the piece:
If men had uteruses, “paternity wards” would get resources, ambulances would transport pregnant men to hospitals free of charge, deliveries would be free, and the Group of 8 industrialized nations would make paternal mortality a top priority. One of the most lethal forms of sex discrimination is this systematic inattention to reproductive health care, from family planning to childbirth — so long as those who die are impoverished, voiceless women.Thankfully, there is the dawn of a global movement against maternal mortality. Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain and the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, are trying to work with the United States and other countries to hold a landmark global health session at the U.N. focusing, in part, on maternal health. If that comes to pass, on Sept. 23, it will be a milestone. My dream is that Barack and Michelle Obama will leap forward and adopt this cause — and transform the prospects for so many young women like Shazia.

Also check out a follow up piece, in which Kristof says,
"Interestingly, in the U.S., maternal mortality remained very, very high even as the United States enjoyed economic development and improved overall health in the 19th century."

Seriously, read all his stories on birth - I hope those in power start listening.


Rev. Debra Haffner said...

How can a half a million women a year dying from pregnancy-related concerns not be a headline nearly every day?

Rev. Debra Haffner

DoulaMomma said...

It's stunning, Debra. The sad answer, part of me believes, is that it's who these women are - they are not white & with money. But I'm equally shocked at so much about birth, such as the cesarean epidemic and the really poor outcomes in out country that also seems not to be news.
I completely agree with you (checked out your blog) - this is a huge piece of health care reform in our country and justice/humanitarianism worldwide.

Anonymous said...

If you think Barrack Obama will care much about women and their babies dying in underdeveloped countries, think again. He doesn't even care about women HERE killing there babies - in fact, he supports killing babies by neglect after they've been born, an inhumane form of abortion happening right here in our backyard.