Today we picked up a patient from a regional hospital in Moshi. She was there to abort her child, but somehow she had been in contact with Mama, so we went to pick her and talk to her at Uzima before she underwent the procedure. Mama took her into the counseling room and told her, a few things. She told her that the thing she is carrying inside her is not just a thing, it’s a three month old child. She told her that aborting it is in fact murder and that it would damage her relationship with God for forever. She reminded the girl that she would never forgive herself if she killed the child, and then she took a hopeful approach. She said the child could grow up to become anything – a scientist, doctor, engineer – it is a seed for something beautiful. Then she ended on a realistic note by saying there are so many barren women in Moshi and Kilimanjaro Region: someone will take care of the baby if you cannot. You can come back to the Uzima Healing Center in about a month when we have the equipment set up, and you can see your baby then.
Then she asked me if there is anything I would like to add. I said that I think it’s a beautiful thing what mere education can do. There is no way that we can know what is going on inside – at three months you cannot even feel the baby kick. However by looking to the future, thinking of what the baby can be and what his or her options are, we can see a life instead of just a red plus sign on a pregnancy test.
This experience reminded me of the sheer power of education. Within forty five minutes, the young woman made the choice to give life. Forty five minutes. I would have loved to hear more science behind the convincing method. What always sticks with me is when I see those pictures of the baby at one month, and two months and three months – even though we can’t feel it or see it, it’s a living thing and it’s growing fast. When I am home this December, I think I would like to gather teaching materials for this specifically. Maybe I can teach it to Zoe Girls and Joy Girls and secondary school girls at New Life. I can incorporate a spiritual bit (keep my audience in mind) but also focus on the scientific facts that allow someone to really understand what they are doing before they make their choice, whatever it may be.