Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Abortion in Uganda

From Pig-e-Banks to Abortion in Uganda. I just found this interesting article online and I thought it would be interesting to get readers comments on it.

If you're a "lurker" on this blog, I'd really like to hear from you.

While in Uganda, I read in New Vision (a local newspaper in Uganda and the source of the article I have linked to), that the Uganda parliament was debating whether to legalize abortion in Uganda.

One of the Millennium Development Goals is to "reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio" in the world. Given that most all agree that a significant contributor to Maternal mortality is complications that stem from crude abortions.

This New Vision article I read tonight quotes a consultant gynecologist at Mulago hospital who said that "775,000 Ugandan women aged between 15 and 49 have unintended pregnancies every year and 297,000 have induced abortions." That number could be much higher given the primitive means of self-administered or crude intervention abortions that lead to severe injury and death to the woman that never receive medical attention and thus might never be counted as part of that statistic.

The Ugandan government is divided on whether to legalize and in what scenarios legalization occurs. In the same article, the gynecologist is quoted as saying "abortion was morally bad but because of the many deaths involved, it had to be thought about seriously and interventions made."

Clearly, reducing maternal mortality is a worthy goal. And, it stands to reason that one of the contributing causes of maternal mortality is death from crude abortions.

Should Uganda legalize abortion? Would legalizing it actually make a difference to those who need it most, the poor, rural women who will otherwise try to abort using crude techniques?

Would a medical NGO (especially one with US ties) dare to carry out proper abortions as part of a plan to reduce maternal mortality?

Does the "right to life" argument hold as true if the life in question is doomed to absolute impoverishment?

I want to hear from you.

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