Sarah O., a young mother in Ghana, is one woman who faced an impossible decision about her body and health. Already struggling to support six children, Sarah learned she was pregnant with a seventh. She traveled to a local clinic where she sought the advice and counsel of one of the nurses on staff, in confidence. The nurse did not think Sarah should end the pregnancy. When she was unable to convince Sarah to raise another child, the nurse told Sarah to carry the pregnancy to term and then she or one of the other nurses would adopt the child. Sarah left the clinic and returned home. A few days later, the staff at the clinic learned that Sarah had died from sepsis after attempting to terminate the pregnancy herself. This sad loss might have been avoided if Sarah had received appropriate counseling, nonjudgmental care, and had genuine access to her full range of options.
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“Ever since the CLC was set up as part of a project by Pathfinder International’s programme — Mukta — women have found a platform from where they can discuss their concerns and interests,” says T K Jayarajan, deputy director (documentation), Pathfinder International.