Save the children! (They’re the mothers too.)

Bristol Palin’s unborn baby is an election-year scandal.

But she’s kind of old to be a mother in Zacapa.

A human rights report I read stated that 44 percent of women in Guatemala have had at least one child before the age of 19. Though my El Modelo story isn’t about women’s issues, I couldn’t shake that statistic from my head.

A female duo of journalists in my class are taking on the epidemics of young pregnant teens, malnourished mothers with infants and women who die during pregnancy. (All three of which are often inter-related.)

While the first two seemed to have a lack of education and resources, I thought the third had a fairly simple solution. I asked Casey- the photographer working on the story- why the women didn’t have midwives.

She said the villages are too spread out, too many women are pregnant at once and there’s no way for them to get adequate training or supplies.

Seems the historically slacking government might have had my same thoughts about midwives. They are offering $20 American for each high-risk pregnancy referred to a doctor. Unfortunately, transportation is a huge issue.

In fact, Casey said that she hopes to follow a pregnant woman on the long trek to the nearest hospital. She said often times women don’t make it and have their babies right then and there in the dirt.

I just hope President Colom is onto something.

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Filed under Guatemalan Political Issue, Guatemalan Social Issue

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