support healthy births

I just got an email from Feminist Majority / Democracy in Action containing a plea for funding to help train midwives in Afganistan:

One in six new mothers is dying in childbirth. Sixteen out of every 100 infants born in this war-torn country die. Birth-related mortality rates in Afghanistan are simply unacceptable. Experts believe that the most effective strategy to reduce these needless and tragic deaths is to train more midwives to assist in childbirth. Unfortunately, the healthcare system in most parts of Afghanistan has been devastated and is not functioning. Electricity and supplies are often scarce. Many medical professionals have fled the country. Most Afghan women, even if they are pregnant, have never seen a doctor. Family planning is rarely available. And all of this is under U.S. watch — after we promised to provide Afghanistan with a “Marshall Plan” and to free Afghan women. We have an opportunity to help Afghan women and girls by providing funding to train midwives. For only $2,000, a new midwife can be trained in Afghanistan. One midwife will in turn be able to promote the health and well-being of countless Afghan women and their new infants.

OK, just stab me through the heart, people! I just gave them $5. Petty tiny thing, but if a few readers followed the link & gave their lunch money too, it would help. ure, we’re broke as hell, but it was the same as a mini-pizza & sodapop. And broke as hell by US standards is still obscenely rich from a global standpoint. No, I can’t afford basic fucking healthcare, but I have high speed internet and a cute car with a tank filled up with [the blood of the earth goddess] gas.

And, I’m ignoring the implicit idea that oh-so-controversial unnassisted births are dangerous because 1) UA birth freaks me the hell out, and 2) even if it was a pet cause, a chick can only fight so many battles in one blog. I’ll go out on a crunchy granola-covered limb and say that trained assistance in birth is a nice thing.

So go give up some cash, yo.

****

When I see “Afghan” it makes me think of my dear friend Sabina, who was my multimedia installation art instructor and an amazing woman and new mama. Sabina grew up in Pakistan and her work deals beautifully with ethnic, national, religious, and gender identity. She says that the way we Americans say “AF-gan” sounds so ugly. She makes it sound like the Aflac insurance duck. Very crass. She says “Afghani” with a lovely delicacy. The “fgh” is very liquid and almost a “v/w” sound.

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