Thursday, July 18, 2013

Interesting article in the most recent Human Life Review

I was just going through the most recent Human Life Review, a physical copy, to see if I would be keeping this physical issue. (I try not to let physical journals accumulate if the desired contents can be found on-line.) I found this article, "The Problem of Infertility in Africa," to be the only one I wanted to keep a record of, and this post is here chiefly for my own convenience, so I'll be able to find the link again.

I don't have many profound words about the article, but it is a window into a different world. In this world, people are literally obsessed by infertility, to the point that the author says that Gospel music (!) in Africa must always be addressing the issue of infertility, yet actual (ethical) medical treatments for and prevention of infertility, based on scientific fact, are rarely discussed. One of the most eyebrow-raising sentences: " Since popular media already pay much attention to infertility, perhaps they could be persuaded to include medical facts in their coverage."

Well, er, yes. One would think so. But evidently witchcraft or some Pentecostal-witchcraft hybrid is a more popular way to treat fertility.

In this world, women sometimes approach the nuns who run an adoption agency wearing pillows in the hopes that they can adopt a baby and pretend to have given birth. Husbands who don't wish to divorce their wives or to practice polygamy feel nearly forced by cultural pressures to do so if the couple suffers from infertility, since the wife is invariably blamed and the husband told that he has a duty to marry a woman who can give him a child.

Meanwhile, STD's are rife and are the major cause of infertility, both male and female, but apparently the common man does not connect the dots and apply the obvious remedy. Be monogamous. Don't genitally mutilate your daughters, as that can cause infertility. Don't marry off girls when they are so young that sex and childbirth will harm them and make them infertile. Stuff like that.

A dark continent indeed. It's good for pro-lifers and cultural conservatives to know what goes on in cultures widely, even wildly, different from our own, and I recommend this article for this purpose.

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