Women in Belize Share Their Stories With IPPF/WHR
By Sarah Ford on February 25, 2014
By Charis Davidson
Over the course of a month in San Ignacio, Belize, I spoke with women about their experiences in their relationships and in their communities with regard to family planning. These women, whose ages ranged from 24 to 50, were open and generous when sharing their stories. We talked about a variety of things, like where they learned about sex and their experiences with pregnancy. Although their lives were different, there were similarities in every woman’s story.
When I asked Crystal, who was 24 years old, where she turned for information about sexual and reproductive health, she sighed and said, “Google.” Crystal didn’t have any children, but shared with me that she’d seen a lot of her friends panic when they learned they were pregnant.
“I think most for people, it’s more of a scary situation, rather than a joyful one,” she said. “They wonder what they’re going to do, and if the father is going to sustain the child.”
A Creole woman named Irene agreed. She’d become pregnant unexpectedly at 22 years old. “I really wasn’t making any decision,” Irene said, but took action after giving birth. She spoke to her sister, and then to a doctor. She started taking birth control pills to prevent another unplanned pregnancy.
“Being a single parent, I had to do something,” said Irene. “I thought it would be better not to have a lot of kids.”
When Teresa got pregnant at 19, she was pressured by her religious family to married the child’s father. Although she...