Monday, January 20, 2020

The Privilege of Planning

Last night I hung out our granddaughter Samantha’s diaper laundry.  Her coverings for her diapers are bright and cheery… just like her.  She brightens our days.

Birth control* allows us to enjoy our children more.  When babies are planned then parents are not stressed out,  and there are fewer single mothers struggling with job, home, and children… in other words family planning is a gift from scientists and ultimately from the Divine… this I believe deeply**.

Our clinic provides extremely low-cost birth control.  Condoms are free, and for the last three years we have provided birth control implants.  These are safe for teen girls and provide protection for 3 - 5 years.  I mentioned in an earlier blog the story of a young mother, 16 years of age, with TWO children, walking in and saying “I want an implant.”

Teens have some logic issues because the frontal lobe part of their brain has not yet fully formed… a girl living in poverty sometimes looks at an older man and thinks he represents security, so she has a baby with the man… it seldom works out.  Girls sometimes feel embarrassed coming to a clinic for birth control because “everyone will know” …  “everyone” definitely knows when their belly starts growing.
Adding to poverty, desperation, and sometimes lack of knowledge, teen girls are at risk of rape or incest.  Having implant protection means AT THE VERY LEAST that an unwanted baby doesn’t add to their trauma.

Many Nicaraguan women living in poverty are the financial stability for the family.  When they can control how many children they have, then they have even more control over the family’s food allowance, clothing, and shoes for the children they chose to have.  They can slowly, with help, begin to lift their children out of poverty.

The initial available implants were good for only three years, and it has been three years now.  We just spent over $5,000 for 200 implants, good for up to five years, which is very inexpensive, BUT buying them all at once has put a huge dent in our budget.  We spend $50/woman for lab tests, PAP readings, and putting in the implants, including the cost of the implants themselves.  Please support one teen girl, one woman, one single mother, one mother overwhelmed with poverty… all too poor to secure their own security.

We took a chance and spent the funds because we have seen the difference the implants make in these girls’ and women’s health and lives.  Will you help our clinic staff help them?
* Again, not writing about abortion which is illegal in Nicaragua.
** I became pregnant three times while on birth control and STILL believe it is a blessed gift. 

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