The fight for who gets to control the bodies of women is a tale as old as time with unfortunately everyone else getting their turn but the women themselves. While the world population that believes in body autonomy is appalled by the RoeVWade situation in the United States, sexual and gender minorities have never been even considered as part of the debate to begin with. As the world debates safe abortion, there is a group of people who have never been privy to that and we find out in this sad real life story that even when pro-life, as is the excuse tossed around-safe delivery services are not readily available. Kuchu Times correspondent from Gulu, Winnie Akol has been triggered by the ongoing conversation about who decides what happens to women’s bodies to share her own experience of how she lost her child. This is ironic especially since the debate is that these decisions are in favour of unborn children.
In September 2020, I started seeing a bisexual young man with an interest of having a child after 8 years of poorly covering up the question of child birth as a lesbian woman living positively. We both wanted the same thing out of this relationship, a child. Unfortunately the family of the man found out about our individual sexual orientations and our perfect child bearing plan wasn’t so perfect anymore. I luckily conceived but coming from a rural area our age difference, our sexual orientation and my HIV status were not things they were willing to expect. I had a very difficult pregnancy without much support from the father of the child due to family influence. I have given birth before and both times were by caesarean section because I suffer from permanent pelvic obstruction; nothing was different this time and my due date was set for August 5th 2021.
On the due date, I took myself to the hospital but the doctors refused to perform the c-section without signed consent from a man. I was already and labour and bleeding profusely that hours later when they finally accepted to perform the c-section, my baby was already tired. My little girl died two days later and I found out two days after that because I was still in coma from the loss of blood. To add salt to injury, my child’s paternal family rejected her corpse and I buried my baby girl with family and friend in my ancestral home in Akia parish, Lira district. The game of women’s health is one women seem to lose even when we do not play. Thinking back on the past year and how I tried to do everything according to the book but still my baby and I weren’t found worthy of services breaks my heart all over again.
The issue with using the notion that one is pro-life to explain their policing of womens bodies is hypocritical because then cases like Winnie’s where she did everything to save the life of her baby but failed should not be happening. But you are not prolife, are you? You are pro oppression of women!