Two weeks ago Marie Stopes International Ghana welcomed the arrival of a client’s twins. The young girl, Diana, had come to see us months ago for an abortion but decided during her counselling session that she wanted to continue her pregnancy. Diana had previously had seven unsafe abortions and didn’t want another one.
Our midwife Maame Donko saw things were not quite right. Delving a little deeper and listening closely as Diana opened up to her, she soon realized one of the issues was that Diana didn't really have a place to live. So, one of the first things Maame did was to help Diana find a place for her family.
Seeing the danger of unsafe abortion firsthand
Diana lost a close friend of hers to unsafe abortion and nearly died herself from complications during her last one. She knew no good could come from them but had no idea of where to go for help before.
Unable to afford the high fees of private clinics and government hospitals, she bought Cytotec from a pharmacist but without a proper consultation or follow-up care she was ill equipped to cope when things went wrong and ended in a government hospital.
Living to tell the tale
Thankfully Diana lived to tell the tale and has bravely been discussing her experience ever since, to help educate people on their options.
One of the biggest challenges for her was a lack of knowledge. She thought for example that “family” planning was only something married couples could use, and is keen to make sure people are better informed than she was.
I have learnt a lot and received great support and counseling from Marie Stopes International. Not many young people know the real options when it comes to pregnancies. I was able to turn from unsafe abortion which is ending the lives of so many young women to safe delivery!
Diana even went on national TV with Maame Donko to share her story in a series on unsafe abortion for the Maternal Health Channel. The show was one of the most watched and most talked about, receiving a huge amount of pick up in the local media.