Letter to the Times: Women worldwide need support

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Note: The Lawrence Times runs opinion columns and letters to the Times written by community members with varying perspectives on local issues. These pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Times staff.

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With the recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the upcoming vote that will affect abortion laws in Kansas, women’s rights have been a hot topic. Women deserve to be uplifted during these trying times, but women in America are far from the only ones who are struggling.

Though I believe we need to continue the conversation about the mistreatment of women’s health care over here, I feel we also need to talk about the way of life that many women have abroad. 

Around 800 women die a day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. This number has been dropping over the past two decades, but COVID-19 has stopped that progress and worsened this issue. 

In Africa, a woman is 47 times more likely to die in childbirth than in the U.S. This is attributed to the lack of health services these communities have. 

So what can we do? We are dealing with our own infringement on women’s rights, and it seems out of reach to help women in other countries. 

I can tell you it is not. I am an intern working with the Borgen Project, which is a nonprofit that brings attention to international issues such as starvation and health inequality. There are many easy ways for anyone to support these causes and I urge you to do so.

For this particular issue, you can support the Reach Every Mother and Child Act. This proposition calls for a portion of the United States’ International Affairs budget to be put aside specifically for women’s health care. This money will be used to send professionals over who can provide health care to women who need it. The Reach Every Mother and Child Act aims to end preventable deaths in childbirth by 2030.

Supporting this cause is easier than you would think. All you need to do is email Congress through this form. It takes less than a minute, and every voice counts.

— Libby Hale (she/her), Borgen Project Ambassador, Lawrence

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