There are times when the truth about "unsafe" abortion is too much for me too. Often it keeps me up at night. Like the time we had to help a terrified young schoolgirl who took a chokorboma to solve her problem...the chokorboma literally exploded within her, rupturing her insides and burning her inside out. Her body was left unrecognisable. I have never seen anything like it. It was horrifying. Heart-wrenching. Screaming and screaming, the 15-year-old girl was carried into our clinic, shaking uncontrollably and rigid with pain. I can still see her face even now. I will never forget it. She was one of the lucky ones I try and tell myself.
I have never really been a very charitable person apart from the usual; sponsoring friends, completing lengthy swims for Cancer Research and Comic Relief & Children in Need donations etc. So when I had to fill in an application form at AOL UK to be part of a volunteer trip with Free the Children charity in Kenya, I was a bit thin on the evidence to make my case as to why I should be picked.
The story of two teenage girls raped and murdered in India this spring while looking for a discreet place to relieve themselves outdoors made headlines around the world. Sadly, their situation is far from unique. Half a billion women and girls - 15% of females worldwide - are forced to do this every day simply because they do not have access to a toilet. This crisis risks women's health, and threatens their safety. The new Indian government was moved to act following the tragedy of the two Dalit girls in Uttar Pradesh, pledging zero tolerance for acts of violence against women. Their statement is welcome. However, protecting women from harassment and attack will not happen overnight.