“Unwanted Pregnancies: Largely a Low Socio-Economic Class Phenomenon”

April 20, 2015 • Daily Email Recap

More babies than we need

See original/source content: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/opinion/19-Apr-2015/more-babies-than-we-need

For a country that shuns sex education on the basis that it erodes moral values, the number of unwanted pregnancies in Pakistan are staggering. According to a 2012 figure by the Population Council, 4.2 million of the nine million pregnancies were unwanted. As much as 54 percent of these resulted in back alley abortions. As a conservative society that rejects abortions on a religious basis, something somewhere is terribly messy. It is no surprise that family planning is paramount in saving lives but the biggest hurdle in implementing the wisdom and the science behind it is religious conservatism. It is as if proponents argue that a good Muslim woman is one who is serially pregnant, severely anaemic and completely absolved of the rights over her own uterus.

 

Tragically, the government of Pakistan, which had once been lauded for running a successful campaign for family planning education in the 1960s, is now effectively sitting on its hands as we boast some of the world’s most horrendous maternal and infant mortality rates. The Auyb government did this despite the fight from the religious right. Pakistan has also had perhaps the greatest number of policy shifts when it comes to population planning. What makes the recent governments so callous in this regard? The policies Ziaul Haq’s era introduced are said to have set back the programme tremendously. One theory is that with the geopolitical crisis Pakistan now finds itself in, it does not want a campaign that works aggressively towards something religious parties oppose. If this is true, we are selling our silence for the glory of an ideology that is probably a bigger killer than terrorism, AIDS or nationwide traffic accidents.

See original/source content: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/opinion/19-Apr-2015/more-babies-than-we-need


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