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To think this situation in East Africa could be less serious than it is if there was more information about contraception.

(288 Posts)
JazzieJeff Fri 08-Jul-11 19:37:14

Ive been thinking this over for some time, and I don't want to appear prejudiced, but I don't think I am being. Because after all, so many people say of people who are struggling to live on low wages/benefits in this country 'why are they continuing to have children?'. So really, my point is the same, but in East Africa, people are bringing children into a world where there is a bloody good chance they will starve or die a horrible death from dirty water.

I dont know whether it's a lack of education, or the spread of the Catholic faith in the developing world. However, I'm not sure if either of these validates people continuing to bring children into such a dire situation. I can honestly say that if I was in East Africa, and that was happening to me and I didn't have access to contraception that I would abstain. I really would. I could not bear to allow any child of mine to suffer. Secondly, if it really is the Catholic faith which prevents so many people from using contraception (as is the case in many developing countries), why isn't there more pressure from governments and charities on the Vatican to start putting money up to start paying for all these children? It's not like they're short of cash; how about using some of those funds they use to put gold leaf on the walls to start putting food in children's mouths. Children, that ultimately, they are responsible for. Because this is getting ridiculous. This has happened twice (that I know of in this country) in my lifetime. Either way, AIBU to think that there needs to be a better solution to birth control in these places, be it contraception or abstinence?

BitsyVonMuffling Fri 08-Jul-11 19:39:04

How is spending money on contraception more important than feeding these people?

moondog Fri 08-Jul-11 19:39:22

Spread of the Catholic Faith?
We are talking East Africa here. Lots of Muslims.
As for having many, they do because

a. They need kids to work to bring in income
b. They know a lot will die so have more with that in mni

JazzieJeff Fri 08-Jul-11 19:39:48

Thats absolutely not what I said. ABSOLUTELY. These people need aid, but they also need education.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Fri 08-Jul-11 19:40:26

so go educate them then

JazzieJeff Fri 08-Jul-11 19:40:52

moondog lots of Christians too, not just Muslims. I went to Djibouti a couple of years ago and there were a number of churches, not just mosques.

moondog Fri 08-Jul-11 19:41:26

Jazzie, you are right in that aid will only ever be a short term solution (and i speak as a woman whose dh works in Internationl Aid)

JazzieJeff Fri 08-Jul-11 19:42:11

So no one thinks that there people have a right to contraception then? We in the western world are just going to put our feet up and close the stable door after the horse has bolted. Again.

AmyStake Fri 08-Jul-11 19:42:22

So much to say. But this says it all. biscuit

JazzieJeff Fri 08-Jul-11 19:44:13

Kudos to your DH moon that mist be a hard task. I understand they have lots of children to bring in the maximum amount of money, but that is a 15th century solution in a 21st century world. I get it, I do. But Christ alive, these children are dying in horrible, unthinkable ways.

moondog Fri 08-Jul-11 19:44:24

Jazzie, you raise an important point.
But it's not as easy as ity might seem.

JazzieJeff Fri 08-Jul-11 19:44:58

No, go on. Please stop with the biscuit stuff.

If I am SO wrong, please educate me.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Fri 08-Jul-11 19:45:14

oh JazzieJeff you are just spoiling for an argument.

You know as well as I do that millions of catholics do use contraception but that in some countries there is a big culure of very macho old fashioned men refuse to wear a condom. To blame the catholic church for that is just plain silly.

SauvignonBlanche Fri 08-Jul-11 19:45:49

Don't let the poor breed - FFS angry
You are showing your ignorance, moondog has explained it in suitably simple terms.

LineRunner Fri 08-Jul-11 19:46:13

Well, the absence of war, corruption, poverty, mass rapes, culturally-sanctioned rape, would help.

Education and health programmes will help.

The western world and other rapidly industrialising powers accepting they can't keep screwing over the plant will help.

FreudianSlipper Fri 08-Jul-11 19:46:15

i hate the vatican's stance on contraception but this is not the problem there are far more pressing issues to deal with than contraception

do you not think it is as unbearable for these mothers to see their children suffering as it would be for us, look back 60 odd years and our poorest families it did not stop them having children because having a big family was seen as good, you help out each other

moondog Fri 08-Jul-11 19:47:06

I don't think you should FFS her.
She is interested in people's views.
I haven't the answers.
Neither has my husband.

He does however tell me stories of thieving, bribery, corruption and scandalous waste which make one want to weep.

JazzieJeff Fri 08-Jul-11 19:51:22

Well not I saw a channel 4 programme about the phillipenes (sp?) that said that people were not using contraception as a result of the mainly Catholic population being told they'd go to hell if they did. I raised the point about Catholocism because a lot of people seem to think that they are responsible for the lack of take up of contraception.

And actually, I don't see how this is spoiling for a fight. Do people genuinely think that these women don't deserve to have access to reliable contraception? Really? Are these women just baby machines then?

People look back to the days when the pill was not available, and your only option to not bring an unwanted baby into the world was a backstreet abortion, and shudder. They cannot imagine women not having a right to dictate what happened to their own bodies. Yeah, I can't imagine women still don't have that option today. Children are coming into the world and places like east africa and bloody dying from lack of food, water, medicine. What about a child's right to a decent life?

AmyStake Fri 08-Jul-11 19:53:32

For a start contraception in some places in Africa would cost a fortune, and in rural places they can be literally 100s of miles from the nearest town or city. And you can't say to somebody "Sorry you're poor so you can't have sex any more and/or we're going to sterilise you".

I'm interested though in how you think we can solve the problem though.

JazzieJeff Fri 08-Jul-11 19:54:01

But fs it's gone beyond the point of people helping each other they have nothing.

And no, I'm not saying the poorest shouldnt have children (not breed, they are not dogs). I'm saying they should have the option to make an informed choice. Because actually, I think this is somewhat of a feminist issue. For me, feminism is about choice, and these women are not having the choice over what happens to either their bodies, or their children.

JazzieJeff Fri 08-Jul-11 19:57:25

No Amy I said that if it was me, I would probably abstain. Because that's me. But that would be my choice. And that is the point. The choice over what happens to my body.

Aid should also come in the form of contraception. If there weren't as many refugees, what if that aid money could be pumped into some sort of infrastructure? Hospitals, schools, better transportation? Don't these people deserve that? The western world is always jumping in when it's too late, when people are sick and dying. We need to help them. Really help them.

AmyStake Fri 08-Jul-11 19:57:34

I'm confused, so where do men fit in to your plan? Last time I checked they were just as likely to succumb to famine/HIV/etc as much as women and children.

JazzieJeff Fri 08-Jul-11 19:59:20

Exactly Amy you're right, they are. I never suggested otherwise.

TheFlyingOnion Fri 08-Jul-11 19:59:33

paaa ha hah aahaaha

Ever been to East Africa? Ever been to Africa? No? Ever been outside of Benidorm?

then keep your ill informed opinions to yourself....

JazzieJeff Fri 08-Jul-11 20:00:17

And they need access to the cheapest form of contraception too, the condom. They probably don't relish watching their babies die either.

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