Becoming a mother in a Rohingya refugee camp

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Rojinessa labored through the night and gave birth to a baby boy around dawn. Her mother delivered the baby. No doctors were present. No midwives. No beeping machines. Rojinessa became a mother in a tent with a bare concrete floor, a plastic sheet roof, and no running water. She is a Rohingya refugee, living in Ukhia, Bangladesh, with more than 650,000 other refugees who have fled the grotesque and incomprehensible genocide ravaging her people in Burma.


But there are a number of reasons a woman might not go. Maybe her husband won’t give her permission. Or he can’t give her permission because he’s out working in the fields.

Blood pressure rising


Roe v. Wade. This is it. This is it, in a nutshell. It’s only tangentially about abortion; it’s really the ruling that a woman owns her own body and can make her own medical decisions without her responsible male owner.

I don’t care how you feel about abortion, the fact that a major political party wants to overturn RvW should make even anti-abortion people sick to their stomachs.

And yes, I want to make the medical decisions for my wife IF SHE IS UNABLE TO DO SO HERSELF, just as I want her to do so for me, should I not be able to. But that is medical power of attorney by choice, not ownership.


Can the husbands be urged to get vasectomies in the camps, or be convinced to practice withdrawal? So many of these problems can be prevented…sigh.

if it’s your legal spouse you refer to… in the US that contract is still about ownership.

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Maybe the OB/GYN could give the husband a referral?

In order to avoid ownership aspects of marriage, we’ve had to do some weird legal stuff. And sadly, it still isn’t 100%.

She is my equal partner and the law just isn’t set up for that.

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