Apr 12, 2012 News
A Partnership for National Unity is calling on Government to extend its services at public hospitals to include the termination of pregnancies, which is a woman’s right in Guyana.
This is according to Member of Parliament, Dr. George Norton, during his budget debate presentation in the National Assembly, on Tuesday evening.
Dr. Norton said, “It is not enough to put the law on the books…If a woman who needs an abortion cannot afford or cannot access proper medical care in the public domain and is forced to go to unlicenced, incompetent bottom house clinics, this problem would remain.”
He stressed that despite Government legalizing the termination of pregnancies more than a decade ago, many women are still losing their lives after having undergone botched abortions.
“When this happens, persons look for all the different wrong reasons to deceive, to shift the blame and to hide the true causes, including the use of ‘lack of education’ on the part of the victim, as was attempted only recently,” Norton said.
“This was to explain why an 18-year-old teenaged mother of two, died in December last, after she had an abortion performed on her illegally, by an uncertified physician in an unlicenced clinic.”
He stressed that Government is failing women folks by not providing pregnancy termination services in public hospitals. Dr. Norton further explained that the Guyanese mother who wants an abortion must have between $10,000 and $30,000 to terminate her pregnancy at a private hospital.
“Those that don’t have that amount buy non-prescription and prescription pills at times. Others drink various concoctions ‘bush’, and throw themselves down to induce ‘slip and fell’. Some use more drastic measures such as pushing knitting needles or umbrella wire inside themselves,” Dr. Norton emphasized.
While some succeed and survive, others endure serious injuries and pay with their lives, he said. He argued that these women do not die because they are unaware that abortion is legal in Guyana but because they cannot afford abortion services.
Dr. Norton stressed that just a few doctors are authorized to do abortions in Guyana, none from Guyana’s tertiary hospital, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.
“Today, mothers in Guyana with unwanted pregnancies are not much better off than they were decades ago,” Dr. Norton said.
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