Children in the womb are some of the most at-risk children in the world. Annually, 46 million babies die from abortion worldwide. That’s approximately one baby being aborted every two seconds.
We believe that abortion and human trafficking go hand-in-hand. There are many similarities and proposed correlations in their growth models; you cannot eliminate one without addressing the other, as both abortion and human trafficking come from the same root issue, which is a lack of value for life.
Issues of poverty, lack of education, inadequate systems, and many other factors all play a role in explaining why human trafficking exists, but we believe that the underlying cause of human trafficking is a lack of value for life, which blinds individuals in their decisions to sell their children.
South East Asia has the second highest rate of abortion in the world.Women and families need education/training, assistance, and maternal care to better understand and protect life.
Project LIFE seeks to create value for life, by educating communities and protecting the unborn. In 2015, we have plans for a crisis pregnancy center and a corresponding women’s rehabilitation home.
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It’s estimated that 2 in 3 Cambodian women have had an abortion. This is a growing concern and the current method of birth control. Although Cambodia is trying to strengthen their child welfare system, it is still extremely weak. Alternative options, such as adoption, are not presently available. Intercountry adoption is extremely restricted (almost closed) and due to trafficking risks has only opened slightly in January 2013. However, it is still extremely restricted, and since there is still a stigma concerning caring and adopting children locally (Khmer to Khmer), there are few options available for expectant mothers that are unable to care for their children.
The problem is two-fold, where there is both lack of education and lack of options. Women know little about fetal stages of development and even very little about their own bodies (general biology, reproductive health, and sex education). As well, there is a lack of options when a woman is expecting an “unwanted” pregnancy, especially if she is living in poverty or working in prostitution.
As such, there needs to be resources (brochures, billboards, and literature) in the Khmer language (mostly pictures for those that can’t read) that promote life. Most women are truly not even aware of what is happening when they have an abortion. Doctors and the public advise, and women listen. Additionally, although coerced abortions happen in all nations, it seems to be extremely strong in Cambodia because of cultural dynamics concerning respect and honor, along with several perpetuating after-effects of the Khmer Rouge. Individuals do as they are told and don’t ask questions. Doctors tell them this is what they should do, and they do it simply because a medical professional has told them so. As such, education and training are crucial.
Additionally, counseling and rehabilitation (job/skill training programs and healing) are needed for those that are working in the sex industry or have no other job skills/education. These services will be provided by individual restoration homes, as well as aiding long and short-term needs for those in crisis pregnancy situations.
Women’s restoration homes will provide healing and restoration by meeting physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. As well, women in crisis pregnancy situations will receive education, literature, counseling, and options for their expectant baby. Training and rehabilitation programs will be provided for those in situations of poverty, addiction, and prostitution.
- Emotional and Behavioral – counselling that is specific for trauma and abuse. Art and music therapy and other tools for emotional healing will also be introduced.
- Physical Needs – All physical needs will be met along with medical care, specifically related to pregnancy and birthing needs.
- Prayer – support for women in residential care and training programs, as well as those with crisis pregnancy needs.
- Women working in prostitution will receive job/skill training. This will be initially facilitated by linking with partner organizations that offer job training assistance. Eventually, we would like to pursue some of our own training ventures.
- Concerning crisis pregnancy, women will receive training on child development, child rearing, and baby care. For those in poverty or working in prostitution, additional options for job/skills training may be provided.
- Life skills (such as cooking, cleaning, budgeting and finances) will also be taught.
Resources for crisis pregnancy situations will be provided (brochures, and literature) that promote life. Pregnant women will receive ultra sounds, learn about fetal development stages, receive counselling and prayer, as well as getting options for assistance they may need.
FUTURE GOALS AND INITIATIVES
Eventually, we would like to have several women’s restoration homes throughout the city, and the crisis pregnancy center can expand to serve other communities, schools, and organizations.