|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
As Sam rightly points out, women in Malawi, regardless of age, are not empowered to make decisions about their own health. When they are sick or giving birth, they must wait for their husband or other male relatives to decide when they should be taken to the hospital. This leads to delays – particularly when the decision-making man has gone far away from the village – and many women who come to the hospital at all come late, when complications have already set in.
Some have described obstetrics in sub-Saharan Africa as a roller coaster of highs and lows, sometimes terrifying and sad, sometimes unpredictable, always interesting, and very rewarding to those of us who are privileged to participate in the drama of childbirth. This particular story had a happy ending. But the poverty in this area is compounded by poor education. Illiteracy rates are alarmingly high, and girls often drop out of school early. The prevailing belief in this area is that the role of a female in society is to marry, have many children, raise the children, and look to her husband for guidance in all matters. Even as we train more clinical officers and try to improve our medical services to women, we must remember that the environment we work in does not allow the women themselves to have a voice in their choices of health care or where and when they will seek medical help.
Only a Spirit-filled woman can submit to her husband's lead. It is the natural desire of a woman to lead through feminine manipulation of the man. The battle of the sexes began in Genesis 3:16, when God said to the woman, "Your craving shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you." In the Art Scroll Tanach Series, author Meir Zolotowitz stated, "Woman's punishment is measure for measure. She influenced her husband and he ate at her command. Her punishment was that she would now become subservient to him."
Why did Saint Paul say, "I do not permit a woman to ... have authority over a man" (1 Tim. 2:12)? It was because it is the natural thing for a woman to try to do. She is, by instinct, a manipulator of the situation. Fallen women will try to dominate the marriage. The man has the God-given role to be the loving leader of the home. [Pages 12-13]
- Voted to uphold the global gag rule, a policy that bans overseas health clinics from receiving U.S. family‐planning aid if they use their own funds to provide legal abortion services, give referrals, or even take a public pro‐choice position.
- Voted to de‐fund the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), an organization that provides family‐planning services – not abortion – for the world’s poorest women.
- Voted to earmark one‐third of all HIV/AIDS prevention funds for ineffective, unproven, and dangerous “abstinence‐unless‐married” programs.
- Voted to take $75 million from the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant to establish a new “abstinence‐only” program that censors information about birth control.
- Voted to impose a federal parental‐consent law on teens seeking birth control.
- Declined to help reduce the need for abortion and improve maternal health by opposing effort to require insurance coverage for prescription birth control, improve access to emergency contraception, and provide more women with prenatal health care.
- Voted against legislation that would have prevented unintended pregnancy by investing in insurance coverage for prescription birth control, promoting family‐planning services, implementing teen‐pregnancy‐prevention programs, and developing programs to increase awareness about emergency contraception.