I’m Pro-Choice (And So Can You!)


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Today’s guest post, which was written for Blog for Choice Day, comes from Saira Khan. Saira currently works in publishing but dedicates her free time to social commentary on her personal blog. She will be Master of Science candidate at Columbia University in Fall 2013. Follow her on twitter @sairakh.

I was raised in Pakistan, where abortion is illegal. So as you can imagine, there’s a big market for illegal abortions there, and it’s horrific.

In 2012, Nele Obermueller reported for The Guardian:

“Shamin was not married when she got pregnant. Rather than face the shame of being a single mother in Pakistan, she secretly sought out an untrained birth attendant who gave Shamin anti-malaria pills to induce an abortion. ‘But part of the baby stayed inside – and my Shimi got an infection,’ says Jino, who works as a maid in the province Punjab. ‘That’s when she came to me and told me everything. I took her to a clinic but it was too late. She died that same day.’

“Shamin’s story is common in Pakistan, where, according to estimates by the Guttmacher Institute, 890,000 women have unsafe abortions annually. Eight hundred of these women will die and a further 197,000 will be hospitalised due to complications. ‘However even these figures are a gross underestimation, as so many cases go unreported,’ says Nighat Khan from the Guttmacher’s research team in Pakistan.”

As Obermueller indicates, Shamin is not alone in Pakistan. [Read more...]