Chapter 22: Helping a woman after a pregnancy ends early
Midwives can help save many
women’s lives, because midwives
are usually the closest and most
trusted health workers in their
communities. When a woman
who is sick or injured knows there
is someone kind and skilled
nearby who does not charge a lot
of money for services, she is more
likely to get the care she needs to
prevent her death.
Women everywhere find ways to end unwanted pregnancies.
But for many women, safe abortion is not available. It is
not legal or is too expensive, so women who have
unwanted pregnancies try to end them in other ways.
They get abortions from people who do not
know how to or do not choose to do
abortions safely. These people might put
soap, chemicals, dung, sharp sticks, or
Elena should not
have died! There must
other dangerous objects into women’s
wombs. Women also try to use these
methods on themselves.
have been a safer way
for her to end her
These methods almost never work
and they are very dangerous. Tens of
thousands of women die every year
because of unsafe abortion. Hundreds of
thousands of women are made infertile or ill.
Making a decision to help
Some midwives are afraid to care for women who have had unsafe abortions.
They may think they will be blamed for causing the abortion. But even in places
where abortion is not legal, it is legal to save the lives of women who are suffering
after unsafe abortion.
A Book for Midwives (2010)