The first debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump left me with a sense of incompleteness. Some of the questions posed by the moderator had little relevance to current issues in the United States. After the debate I wrote a letter that was published on the editorial page of our local newspaper. Here is the text of my letter:
During the first presidential debate the topic of abortion did not come up. Neither candidate was asked about taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. I was thinking about this when I opened the current issue of Midwifery Today. The theme of the issue is: Birth Is A Human Rights Issue.
I wonder if we have lost sight of mothers and their infants in the attention that has been placed on the provision of contraception and abortion.
The article written by Jan Tritten quotes a point listed under Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations 1948): Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
Some would like us to believe that the most important issue for women is the freedom to have an abortion. Is anyone paying attention to maternal/infant morbidity and mortality? Why is the United States one of the few countries where the maternal death rate is increasing?
More attention needs to be directed at healthy choices that support life. Countries that have a greater percentage of midwives have better outcomes. Many states in the U.S. have limited the practice of midwives. In Illinois midwives have been fighting for legislation that would license them to attend homebirths.
Healthy women want to have the option of giving birth at home with a midwife.
Recently a law that requires pregnancy care centers to offer referrals to abortion clinics (SB 1564) was signed into law in Illinois. This law strips away the conscience rights of health care workers. I hope this law is challenged. In the meantime I think abortion clinics should have the same standard. They [clinics like Planned Parenthood] should be legally required to offer referrals to pregnancy care centers.
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