Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Swazi woman's abortion account #1

"I am a 33 year old Swazi woman and I had an abortion 12 years ago.

I remember the first time I suspected that I was pregnant. I was finding hard to wake up in the morning and even harder to keep my eyes open after lunch. A friend suggested I do a pregnancy test. I was so young (21) and scared of being judged. So I decided to have a blood test done at the clinic. The doctor that attended to me was a good friend of mine, so that made things easier. He to a blood sample and carried out an HIV test as well.

I went back a few days letter to get the results; negative for HIV and positive for bun in the oven. That was the scariest exciting news I’d ever had. The next bit was telling the father of the baby that I was expecting a baby. We agreed to meet and when I told him I was pregnant, he immediately announced that I had to get rid of “it”. We argued about it, I even told him not to call me any more.

How foolish I was to think I could wish someone away and feel nothing when I next saw him again. He came by and tried to “reason” with me. The sad thing is everything he said seemed to make sense. I was planning to leave for Europe at the end of that year and a baby would not make that possible. He was not ready to have a baby and I had my future to build.

I eventually gave in to pressure and we drove to a Marie Stopes International Clinic in South Africa to have the abortion done. I remember talking with the father of the baby; he asked me why I wanted to keep the baby. I told him that “it” was a part of me and him put together to make a beautiful gift.

I remember walking into the room for the procedure to be done. I’d been given medication to take to “open” the cervix. When I walked in to the room, I was internally horrified to see that the doctor carrying out the procedure was a scary looking man with tribal scars on his face. The nurse at his side, glared at me as I climbed onto the bed. Next to the bed was a bucket. I was told to relax while the doctor did what he needed to do. The first pain I felt was when the suction tool was inserted into to me. It was as if someone was tearing into my flesh. The next pain was when he started to jab it (the suction tool) in and out of my womb. I thought the pain would never end. I wanted to scream, but the lady in the room next to mine was already screaming for both of us. It felt like it would never end. I can still hear the noise the machine makes when it sucks out your unborn child. I was 9 weeks pregnant; the baby would have been born in April 2000.

I walked out of there feeling so sad; it’s a sadness I have never ever been able to get over. Today I have two beautiful children. The eldest alive child was born in July and the last born in April - 11 years after that horrible abortion. I have learnt that I would have been better off having the baby than having the endless heart ache. The smell of the clinic never leaves your nostrils. The sounds never leave your mind. It’s a road I would NEVER recommend anyone to go through. I have prayed for forgiveness and know that God has forgiven me. But I am still struggling with the idea of forgiving myself. No one should wear the shoes I walk in daily."

(published in The Swazi Observer, 23rd January 2013)

This true account is the first I've been able to collect from sources. I have left her words unedited, to better preserve her unique voice. Thank you to Aunty A, and her brave beautiful client who spoke up about this terrible experience. I desperately hope that other women and girls would be encouraged to seek godly counselling and find real healing and peace from a life-long hurt.
Love, Ruth xx

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Abortion is Racist

Did I just “go there”? Yes, I did. Abortion, by the numbers, is a racist institution. This statement has nothing to do with agendas or intent. It has everything to do with the simple, undeniable reality that in the US, abortion kills minority children at more than 3 times the rate of white children. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute (IPPF’s research wing), the rate is even worse for black children who are 5 times more likely die of abortion! This fact alone is staggering!
 This phenomenon of "black genocide” by abortionists and its necessary exposure is what drives activists such as Alveda C. King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. who quotes her uncle often when outlining her opposition of abortion:
[Martin Luther King, Jr.] once said, “The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety.” How can the “Dream” survive if we murder our children? Every aborted baby is like a slave in the womb of his or her mother. The mother decides his or her fate.
Lest you feel these claims are an exaggeration, consider the numbers: Black women make up only 12.3% of the population but account for 37% of abortions (almost 2 in 5). White women make up two thirds of the population and account for one third of the abortions. 80% of Planned Parenthood's abortion clinics are located in poorer communities with minority populations. The result of this is that the abortion of Hispanic and Black babies is more than double their population percentage. Call this what you will-when the slaughter has an ethnic face and the percentages are double that of the white community and the killers are almost all white, something is going on here that ought to make the lovers of racial equality and racial harmony wake up. It is no secret that Planned Parenthood was founded in racist eugenics-“the science of improving the population by controlled breeding for desirable inherited characteristics”- which is continued by the organisation today. So did Apartheid, the slave plantations, and Nazis to name a few. All evil, all perfectly legal at the time.
The Life Education and Resource Network (LEARN), the largest black pro-life group in the US has produced the above chart which shows that from 1973-2001, abortion has claimed more than 2.5 times as many black lives as the next 5 leading causes of death combined. Since 1973, about 16 million black babies were aborted, which means that the black community would be 36% larger than it is. And that doesn't even factor in all the children that would have been born to those aborted a generation ago. Abortion is by no means an equal opportunity killer. Abortion attacks the "moral fabric" of an entire people. What happens to the mind of a person, and the social fabric of a nation, that accepts the aborting of the life of a baby without a pang of conscience? What kind of a person, and what kind of a society will we have in Swaziland in 20 years if life continues to be taken casually by abusing and murdering our children, and aborting or dumping our babies into pit latrines? The value placed on life must be preserved if we wish to have any future as a Swazi nation. With a tiny population just over a million, we must welcome and rejoice over every Swazi baby conceived, regardless of the circumstances. Every Swazi mother should be treated as a princess because she bears the nation’s children and grandchildren. We must learn from America’s shocking disgusting track record, and refuse to allow such a racist procedure in our borders.

(article published in The Swazi Observer, 7th December 2012)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Understanding Prenatal Development

At the moment of conception every aspect of the genetic inheritance for a new individual will be determined once and for all: to be a boy or girl, with brown or blue eyes, light or dark, tall or short; all the rich physical details from head to toes. A new and unique human being comes into existence with its own distinct genetic code.
In order to better understand why it is such a lie to argue that abortion is the mere removal of cell tissue, consider this timeline of prenatal development:
By week 3 of pregnancy, at just 21 days after conception, the heart starts beating! Over the next 4 days, the heart will settle into its regular rhythm and will start pumping blood throughout newly formed blood vessels. It will have beat roughly 54 million times before the baby is even born. Brain and spine are present and organs are preparing to function, eyes become visible on scans. Week 4: arms and legs are shaped. Day 31, hand formation begins. Day 33, the feet begin taking shape.
By week 6 and 2 days from conception, early brain waves are measurable. Bone hardening has begun, lips have appeared, and all 20 baby teeth are in the gums. The baby begins to make spontaneous and reflexive movements. He responds to stimulus and is able to feel pain. A touch to the mouth area causes the baby to move his head. Lars Hamberger, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Sweden's Gothenburg University notes that, "even this early in pregnancy, the baby is extremely lively, in constant motion, sleeping for only brief periods."
At 7 weeks, hiccups have been observed. Fingers and toes are distinctly separated. Knee joints are present, and the baby develops the ability to smell. Day 49 has been elected to be the final day of the scientifically recorded day-to-day diary of development. On this day, the baby is 7 weeks old and is considered to be essentially complete. 90% of the structures found in an adult human being can be found in this tiny body. From here on, the baby waits for birth, growing in size and weight. 75% of 8-week old babies demonstrate right-handedness.
model of unborn baby at 12 weeks
By week 9 he can yawn, suck his thumb, and scratch his chin. Week 10: Fingernails, toenails and unique fingerprints all appear at this time. Between 16-20 weeks, his body is large enough for the mother to start feeling his kicks. The earliest baby born in South Africa to survive and become a healthy normal child was 20 weeks (5 months)! In Swaziland a baby girl was born at 24 weeks (6 months) and is healthy today. At the end of 9 months the baby initiates labour by stimulating the adrenal cortex to secrete a hormone that induces the mother's uterus to begin contracting. It is the baby who determines when it's time for birth!
There has long been a common misperception that most abortions occur before the baby is recognizably human. Day after day, thousands of aborting women wrongly believe that they're simply eliminating some cell tissue or “blob”. Because general ignorance of prenatal development is so convenient to the abortion industry, it's not hard to guess why Planned Parenthood does so little to accurately educate women. Isn't it the height of injustice to abuse another member of the human community simply because they don't look the way we expect them to? Abortion is not the mere removal of cell tissue; it is the death of living, growing human beings.
(article published in The Swazi Observer, 23rd November 2012)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Emails with the Times of Swaziland editor

Friday 9 Nov 2012
Dear Mr Dlamini and Mr Nxumalo, (Editors)

I was greatly saddened by the fact that the Times censored my free speech by ignoring my "letters to the editor" emailed on the 12th and 16th October, and incredibly proud and grateful when the Observer published both, back to back, on the 16th and 17th October.

These 2 challenging letters followed by MP Johannes' comments seem to have started an increasing amount of statements in both national newspapers about Abortion, and its legalization in Swaziland, over the last 3 weeks. That's exactly what I'd hoped would happen. I believe that hard topics very much need to be talked about widely, and every person needs to form a clear opinion on such matters. 

What concerns me is the blindly ignorant statements being voiced by at least 2 MPs about the facts of abortion, with Min. Hlobi even suggesting we introduce abortion as population control and that we enforce China's 1 child policy! Such talk disgusts me - as if Swazi's are a herd of cattle to cull, breed and control. 

I therefore ask that I may be able to write a daily or weekly feature article about pregnancy, abortion, and post-abortion care for women. 
These informative articles would be published for the benefit of educating the public in these matters, and would be written in a factual, honest, and thoroughly-researched way.

Please consider this request. Since organisations like FLAS commonly fill up an entire page with SRH and family planning information, I ask that I might be granted the same platform. 
This type of open honest debate on taboo topics is the foundation of journalism excellence world-wide. I am asking you for a chance to use my passion and writing skill to make a difference, please allow me to do so.

Ruth Cory

Monday 12 Nov 2012 
Dear Ruth Cory,

Thank you for your interest in writing for us. I have only received one email from you previously, on the 12th of October, and I think one of your comments was also published in the Swazi News on 3rd November. 
Although abortion has been in the news lately, I do not think that this is the right time to put a ‘pro-con’ debate at the centre of our society through a regular column, but you are welcome to send me a sample piece of writing (maximum of 600 words please). We would be looking for a column that balanced both sides, concentrating on the medical and social effects of abortion but without the appeals to emotion with which so many people try to sway this argument. It needs to be about local attitudes, using local statistics, rather than the wider pan-cultural debate. I am not sure if one health issue alone can carry an entire column dedicated to it but you are, of course, always welcome to submit letters to the editor on this topic (please note that the word limit should ideally be around 600 for this, too).

Simon Dawson, Opinion Editor

Monday 12Nov 2012
Dear Simon Dawson,

Thank you for your response. I would be happy to submit a sample to yourself. 
Surely a regular column as you've suggested would be opinion driven, as most currently published in the Times are (Mkhulu, Single Lily, Editor, etc)? What I was envisioning was more along the lines of a well-researched public education type of article, informing Swazis of the health risks (both physical and medical) of abortions.

I hate to break it to you, but a "pro-con" debate IS at the centre of society right at this moment! I assume from your comments, and the reluctance of the Times to print pro-woman/pro-life articles & facts, that the Times is pro-abortion. This is deeply disappointing, as true journalism should give voice to both sides in an equal manner and quantity, and let the public make up its mind for itself. 

The Times has had no problem so far publishing pro-abortion "appeals to emotion with which so many people try to sway this argument" ALL of the public information regarding both pregnancy and abortions (garnered mostly from IPPF, through FLAS) has been decidedly pro-abortion, and NONE has been pro-woman/pro-life. And my request to balance the scales a little has been met by your polite yet patronising refusal. I am not an anti-abortion fanatic. I am most certainly not religious. I am passionate about the protection of women from abortionist organisations who blatantly mislead in the media and bury medical/scientific fact to further their goals. 
I just want to publish the facts&figures, the numerous extensive studies, the health risks, the records detailing mental/emotional health of post-abortive women & their families, and the non-gory, ever-true testimonials of women, and also importantly, address the issues of pregnancies and prenatal development, social difficulties facing Swazi women and put forward solutions and alternatives.

Rest assured that my personal pro-woman/pro-life convictions will be tamped down in the interest of providing moderate, medically-sound articles, especially in an effort to balance the information bias currently going-on. I'm not interested in time-wasting religious arguments, but I will call out the truth, whatever it may be.

It is ironic that you mention wanting to use local or relevant statistics because the article "Abortion is here to stay" in the weekend Times was extremely biased and emotionally charged. In fact, I was shocked to realise that the global statistics used by the reporter in this article are actually those recorded for legal abortions in Africa, America and world-wide. 
Your reporter falsely reported the facts by pining on the word "unsafe" in front of "abortion" (and implying that unsafe=illegal). He therefore falsely portrayed these legal abortion statistics as true for illegal or unsafe abortions. This is a huge error, which I hope he did unwittingly, and should be pointed out to the public and apologized for. It is outrageous to take legal abortion statistics off the internet, and dress them up to suit an attack or to sway public opinion on legalisation. 

I'll forward my first sample to you shortly, and ask that you consider any future work in the light of fair and accurate public education.

Ruth Cory