Two pregnant ladies came to our clinic with the same intention of aborting their baby.
*Aung and *Hla are refugees from Myanmar. *Aung has two kids, one living with her in Malaysia and the other in Myanmar. *Hla is a young mom with one child. The two mothers came to us in the same week, unknowing of each other.
Our community clinic, Klinik Kecheerian, has been offering free treatment and medicine for pregnant refugees since January 2021 and this was the first time we have encountered mothers who wanted to abort their babies.
The shock we initially felt was short lived as we talked to these mothers and began to understand their situation. While we may not be able to fully grasp the reason behind this decision, we offered a solution that we can—to lighten the financial burden through the service and support of our clinic, to provide nutritional food packs during the nine months of pregnancy and 6 weeks postpartum.
The two families had been struggling financially due to the income gaps during the nationwide lockdown. Their husbands earn daily wages which were heavily affected during the pandemic. *Hla felt the pressure from her husband to abort the baby as they both knew they could not afford another child. *Aung also had the same worry of providing for her baby, but she had the emotional support of the community around her.
*Aung decided to keep the baby, and *Hla proceeded with her abortion.
A life spared, and a life taken away.
While we may not be able to control the decisions these mothers make, we can stand in the gap to educate them about their options. We stand in the gap of contraceptive education and empowerment. We continue to stand for these women and those after them, to make healthcare accessible for everyone, everywhere.
And we want you to partner with us.
*Name(s) have been changed to protect the identity of the individual.