Dear Ms. Gandhi: For a change, let’s ask women who actually carry the child in womb

Dear Maneka Gandhi

This February you  wrote to Health Minister Nadda saying that all hospitals be asked to declare the number of cesareans they performed every month. Gandhi also called for the “naming and shaming” of gynecologists who performed C-sections on women “for no reason at all except money”.

I read your statement saying: “I would like all women in India to get together and start protesting because a cesarean for a woman is very invasive, and it turns a natural delivery into something that is an unnecessary operation.” Behind all this concern lies the deep rooted crisis that women all over the world are facing. A bunch of men sit at oval office and declare abortion illegal. Why are you telling women to chase after so-called “natural deliveries”. Why are women being kept out of the loop of the whole decision making process that concerns their uterus.

Maternal mortality is nothing short of an epidemic. Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of women die from complications during pregnancy or childbirth each year – that’s one woman dying every 90 seconds – and millions more are left with life-altering disabilities. In some countries, one in seven women dies in pregnancy or childbirth. It was estimated that in 2015, roughly 303,000 women died during and following pregnancy and childbirth. Almost all of these deaths occurred in low-resource settings, and most could have been prevented.These women aren’t dying because the health community doesn’t know how to prevent their deaths; they are dying because the world is failing to help.

When health insurance was provided through smart cards all that was done was to perform hysterectomy on women as young as 18. A scam is uncovered, there is hulla and the accused are let free be it Chattisgarh or Odisha. But we can’t get hold of them.

Women die as a result of complications during and following pregnancy and childbirth. Most of these complications develop during pregnancy and most are preventable or treatable.

Other complications may exist before pregnancy but are worsened during pregnancy, especially if not managed as part of the woman’s care and no efforts are being taken to address the problem comprehensively through skill development or infrastructure development.

However, saying that the high number of C-sections is due to the fact that modern independent women are irresponsible, they don’t want to adjust and want shortcuts to giving birth is bullshit. The day we hit puberty and this monthly “aunt” comes home with excruciating pain we are told thatf that pain is something that women need to go through for a birth to be ‘natural’ and our body is just preparing us for that.

There are many complications….err medical complications that require C-sections if we wish to save two lives, saving lives should come as natural to us as child birth. Because we believe pain is a natural biological burden that women have to bear, whether or not it involves motherhood, we make them believe that every pain is natural.

But Ms. Gandhi, all you choose to is glorify the puritan form of Natural birth. No doubt it should be encouraged as it’s most natural and healthy way to deliver a child but isn’t as a policy maker you have bigger responsibilities of addressing the gaps coming in way of “Right To safe motherhood and contraception” rather than just giving them some preaching.

For a change, how about shifting the global burden of family planning from women to men. Not a single man, who was a part of the sample in the National Family Health Survey, had opted for vasectomy in 2015, suggesting that women continue to bear the burden of family planning. The latest survey reveals that while 50.7 per cent women went for sterilization, merely 0.4 per cent men opted for it.

How about some gyaan there too.

Why should boys have all the fun.


A woman who won’t take pain and bullshit.


P.S- Writing this post for International Women’s day. We are #WomenOfBlogging

2 Comment

  1. While I agree that some greedy doctors have turned this noble profession into a money-minting game, I cant seem to agree with Ms Gandhi on this. C-section is a literally a life saver in many cases (including mine). But again who is asking us. Its the men deciding it for us and some like Ms Gandhi giving them ample opportunities. Well pointed out Pooja and it cant have come at an apt time. More Power to you! And this also comes from a woman who doesnt take bullshit.

  2. While it’s true that C-sections have become a money making business in larger cities, it’s also true that there is not enough care and education about pre and post natal care and recovery. Rather than presenting natural birth as a cure-all, she should have focused on improving infrastructure and care. Very enlightening post!

Leave a Reply