When Nargis* became pregnant with her third baby, her inlaws were unhappy. They did not think that she could manage another child, as her husband did not have a job and they were already struggling financially. After hearing the discouraging comments and feeling hopeless in their current situation, Nargis and her husband decided to abort the baby.
On the day of the scheduled abortion, Nargis made her way to the hospital. Along the way, she met a lady named Maftuna*, and they began a conversation. Nargis shared that she was going for an abortion and told Maftuna of the struggles and challenges that had led to that decision. Maftuna, who is the wife of an Operation Mercy worker, told Nargis to wait for her. She quickly ran home and grabbed the book Miracle of Life to give to Nargis, who then decided to return home instead of going to the hospital.
Maftuna knew about the book through one of Operation Mercy’s community health trainers. She herself went through Operation Mercy’s general health and pregnancy lessons, as the trainers do not only work with the local women in the village but also the wives of Operation Mercy staff.
That evening, Maftuna visited Nargis at her home and shared with her what she had learned at those lessons. Nargis later spent the rest of the night looking through the Miracle of Life book. She found the book, with its simple explanations and photos, interesting. The book described the development of pregnancy, from fertilisation to conception to birth, and included information on post-natal mother and baby care. Nargis also learned from the book that, not only is abortion wrong, but it can also cause health problems to the woman and affect her mental and emotional health.
Within Nargis’ community, it was not uncommon for women to undergo abortions: “People in my community, especially women, should really think carefully about abortion before going ahead with it,” she said, as not many were aware of the dangers and health implications of an abortion. Ultimately, the book opened her eyes to what a pregnancy truly is: a miracle of life.
Nargis decided to continue with the pregnancy and has since given birth to her baby.