World shocked by woman forced to deliver baby on clinic lawn
Image underscores plight of indigenous people in Mexico who remain chronically under-served.
It's being called the image that shamed Mexico, and it's gone viral. The photograph shows a woman giving birth to a baby on a lawn in Mexico after being turned away from a local clinic.
According to Irma Lopez, 29, who is the woman pictured giving birth, she and her husband walked to a local clinic on Oct. 2 in Oaxaca, Mexico. The couple are ethnic Mazatec, one of that nation's many ethnic, native minorities.
Despite being in labor and her water having broke, staff at the clinic turned her away and left her to give birth on the lawn.
Eloy Pacheco posted this image to his Facebook where it went viral, bringing attention to the plight of Mexico's indigenous people.
The dramatic images highlight a serious problem, in the region. According to Sylvia Flores, the mayor of the rural village of San Felipe Jalapa de Diaz where the incident took place, another woman also gave birth on the law in July. In fact, one in five Mazatec women give birth outside the hospital because they cannot get in.
Nurses said they could not understand Lopez or her husband and that they were short staffed on that day.
"I didn't want to deliver like this" Lopez told reporters of her ordeal. "It was so ugly and with so much pain," she said. Lopez was alone during the birth because her husband was still trying to get her help.
Her screams are what alerted area residents, one of whom had a camera. Eloy Pacheco Lopez took the image of the distraught mother with her child on the grass. He gave the photo to a local reporter and shared it on Facebook. From there the image went viral.
The problem is that indigenous people in Mexico are subject to discrimination and do not receive the care to which they are entitled.
Duly embarrassed, the Mexican government has promised to investigate and sent staff to look into what happened. The clinic's Health Director, Adrian Cruz has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. Human Rights observers are also investigating.
While the Mexican government says they urge all women to go to clinics to give birth, women in rural areas say the clinics are too small and understaffed to do the job properly.
While Irma Lopez was lucky, and gave birth to a healthy child without subsequent complications, many other women do have problems. The infant mortality rate in Mexico is still about 50 per 100,000 births. By contrast, the rate in the U.S. is 16 for every 100,000.
Native people say they are used to being under-served by the health care system and they rely on more traditional methods to handle ordinary health issues. Infant and maternal mortality are higher in indigenous areas, by far.
Irma Lopez and her son Salvador are doing fine, despite his traumatic birth.
Irma Lopez has named her baby, a boy, Salvador, which means "savior." "He really saved himself" she told reporters.
Lopez and her baby are doing fine.
A birth foretold: click here to learn more!
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Americas News
- Denouncing the nation of Panama as a 'lackey,' Venezuela severs diplomatic ties
- Coin found by treasure hunter confirms long disputed historical fact
- Starbucks watch out! Crops, jobs and wages in Central America tumble due to coffee bean disease
- Bolivia Changes Law on Abortion: More Children at Risk
- Tunnel network couldn't save 'el Chapo' from being brought to justice
- Venezuelan president seeks high-level talks with Obama
- World's most wanted drug lord 'El Chapo' finally arrested
- Our Lady of Guadalupe: The Woman Who Casts a Shadow
- Worth more than money: Vatican blocks 'deconsecration' of historic Catholic church
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?