As a well known head of a telecommunications company once said to me, “Numbers don’t lie”. Although he was specifically referring to a budget I have never forgotten the value in numbers. So in an effort to limit mendacity (thanks KD) here is my stance on the call by Lisa Hanna to change the restrictive abortion laws in Jamaica in numbers.
Pregnancies occurring each year: estimated 205 Million worldwide
Spontaneous abortions yearly (body naturally expelling a fetus before the 1st trimester): 146 million
Elective legal and illegal abortions: 41.6 million (stable since 2003). Half of these are illegal and unsafe.
World population to date: 7 Billion and counting.
Jamaican Population: 2,889,187 give or take a few homicides and triplets.
Of these 42 million abortions, 20 million are unsafe abortions and result in a maternal death rate of 70,000 and over 5 million hospitalizations yearly.
What do these figures tell you?
They tell me that the world is in dire need of rational and effective sexual reproductive education and contraception for both women and men. Despite the collective natural and elective aborting of potentially 188 million zygotes we are breeding like rabbits, or hamsters, if you wish to partake in my most recent escapade into pets for my kids (another story…sigh).
To waste time engaging patriarchal and theocratic debates on the morality of abortions is signing a death warrant for the human race. Yes, its a bit dramatic but guess what, we clearly are not having a crisis of birth on our hands. Rather, despite surviving the natural odds of dying from conception to birth (70% not in the favor of the fetus) and then managing to survive life itself, we still face crippling birth rates, guaranteeing survival struggles of unknown but epic quantities for future generations.
On top of this women are dying at unprecedented rates because they are trying to assert their health and reproductive rights. Think about it, if 70,000 people died of any single disease in a year, the CDC and WHO would be on it like white on rice giving it epidemic status quicker than you can say contraceptive!
So I say implement safe abortion laws. Abort the archaic laws making abortion illegal in Jamaica. South Africa reduced maternal deaths by 90% and improved sexual and reproductive health simply by legalizing abortion.
Proof in the numbers is a hell of a thing. Reducing mortality is a well known effect of legalizing abortion but it is only the first step in improving sexual health and population control. Provision of contraception resulted in 14.5 million fewer unsafe abortions and 38,000 fewer deaths worldwide.
The second step is providing reasonable and readily accessible sexual health education and contraception to both men and women. The positive repercussions from these two acts alone could save us, literally, a world of trouble. Think food supply and the ability to live if you cant stretch your mind.
Indeed, without the baggage of religious conscripts, populations untouched by the modern world understand the need for regulation of birth. Contraception is practiced actively and successfully by the women among the little known z’oe ( pronounced tho e) tribe in South America. The women in this polyamorous little tribe of about 200 indians, use natural methods of contraception to ensure their survival. Interestingly, they assiduously hide these methods from the men.Only the women are allowed knowledge and access to this tree which can reduce or multiply menstrual cycles. I wonder why.
Let me be clear about what I don’t mean by education of sexual and reproductive health.I disavow the means of education by terror including the terror filled Roman Catholic solution of forcefully showing young girls videos of late term abortions as the only class on sexual education (I was one of those girls who had to watch so don’t even test me!). I also decry the current practice of interrogating women who wish to purchase contraception at pharmacies by said pharmacists (me, a big big married woman was subjected to this, even though I have “had my lot”. Lol.). Also it cannot be overstated that it is a crying shame when some gynecologists in Jamaica outright refuse to “tie” women’s “tubes”. What this says is that as a woman in Jamaica your sexual health and reproductive rights are not your own and you must continue to have children or abstain. And oh yeah, if you get raped it was your fault and you have to bear the consequences with no social or financial help. You are merely a woman and a so it go!
I think we are smart and creative people so we should be able to devise a more caring and sensitive method of providing meaningful support to women who are looking for a solution to unwanted pregnancies.
So my unsolicited advice for the government, lawmakers and policy conceivers in Jamaica, as a woman who owns a vajayjay, is GET REAL and recognize our rights to choose to bring another person into this overburdened world. Give us proper factual evidence and education so we make make more edified reproductive choices. Give us access to contraception and make our men understand that contraception is necessary for them as well. Do this all without guilt trips or soapbox speeches by misinformed men. Argument done.
Because I was curious I had a look at the pop clock as it is called and was quite disturbed by the rate at which the last world pop digit kept changing. Oh well as some dude said “no doubt everything is unfolding as it should”.