Fierce

It’s Hard To Believe But The Morning After Pill Is Illegal In Honduras And There’s A Powerful Campaign In Place To Overturn This Law

Some ignorant people may wonder why so many women in Honduras would risk having children in a country with so much violence — only to risk their lives even more by seeking asylum in the U.S.

The answer is very cut and dry, women in Honduras are subjected to give birth because their country doesn’t provide them with the basic contraceptives that we take for granted in the U.S. Furthermore, many of the pregnancies in that county are the result of rape.

There is at least one organization trying to help these women.

A campaign called Hablemos Lo Que Es (Let’s talk about what it is) is trying to change the government’s perception of the morning after pill, which is banned in Honduras.

Facebook/@hablemosloques

The campaign is attempting to show that the morning after pill doesn’t cause abortion but rather prevent an unplanned pregnancy.
“Access to the PAE [the morning after pill] in the case of a mistake or the failure of another form of contraception should be a plan B — another option,” Alexa Pineda told Al Jazeera. “[Having access to the PAE] is about the right to decide what to do with your sex life, the right to decide about motherhood and the right to decide about your life. That’s why Honduran women should have free access to PAE: because it’s our right to decide what to do with our bodies.”

In 2017, “more than 30,000 pregnancies among girls and adolescents under the age of 20” were recorded in Honduras, making it one of “the highest rates of teen pregnancy in Latin America.”

Facebook/@hablemosloques

The publication reports that because many of the pregnant women do not have fully developed bodies, their childbirth poses a great risk to their lives and the lives of the babies. The report also states that 80 percent of the women who were treated by Doctors Without Borders, got pregnant after being raped.

One woman reports having gone to a pharmacy outside of her vicinity after she heard that someone there was selling the morning after pill.

Facebook/@hablemosloques

She told Al Jazeera that she went to great lengths to find this one pharmacy and pay $12 for the morning after pill and was only able to pay for it because her boyfriend helped her with the cost.

“I can’t even imagine how it would be for a woman who didn’t have all the privileges that I had in that moment,” the woman said to the publication. “She wouldn’t even have a choice. Her destiny would be to be a mother.”

A Father And Daughter Were Separated By U.S. Immigration Only To Reunite On Her Deathbed

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A Father And Daughter Were Separated By U.S. Immigration Only To Reunite On Her Deathbed

Adhy Savala / Unsplash

It is with unrelenting sadness that we report the death of Heydi Gámez García, 13, who took her life after her father’s asylum request was denied for the third time. Heydi’s father, Manuel Gámez, sent her to the U.S. after his father was gunned down by MS-13 for refusing to pay a “war tax” to the gang. He didn’t expect that Heydi would be granted asylum, but that he would be deported.

Manuel certainly didn’t envision that his goodbye hug and kiss four years ago would be the last time he would hug and kiss his daughter while she was still alive.

The Gámaz family was broken by MS-13 and failed again by the U.S. immigration system.

Credit: @amy_baker22 / Twitter

Heydi’s mother walked out on her and her dad when she was less than two months old. By the time Heydi was a year old, Manuel left for New York as an undocumented immigrant to make money to send back home. After his father was killed by MS-13, and his mother’s health started failing, he worried about who would care for Heydi and his younger sister, Zoila.

Manuel’s sister was granted asylum and cared for Heydi in his absence in New York.

Credit: @holliewolfen / Twitter

A year after his father’s death, he sent Heydi, Zoila and his brother to the U.S. Heydi and Zoila were granted asylum. Heydi learned English within a year and started teaching her father, via phone calls, how to correctly pronounce English words. They spoke every day, always asking when he’d come.

After two failed attempts to gain asylum, Heydi lost hope for being reunited and started cutting herself.

Credit: @holliewolfen / Twitter

He never wanted to make promises he couldn’t keep, like being there for her quinceañera. Heydi watched her classmates complain about their parents’ visiting their school and fell into a depression. In December, she was brought to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation after cutting her wrist at school. She was seeing a therapist until two months before her suicide.

“Please forgive me for failing you,” Manuel wants to tell his daughter.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t be there… I never meant to leave you,” he says to her. Heydi was Manuel’s only child. Heydi’s aunt is coping with impossible guilt. She told CNN, “I was supposed to be protecting her. I would never send her to Honduras. But I never thought something bad would happen to her here.”

Manuel was released on a two week ‘humanitarian’ visit to release Heydi from life support.

Credit: @holliewolfen / Twitter

He finally got to hold her hand and comfort her as she left this life behind. “We love you,” he whispered to her. “Don’t leave us.”

The last thing Heydi told anyone was that she lost hope in being reunited with her father.

Credit: @MaryJaneKnows / Twitter

She was crying as she told her aunt that she feels hopeless and that one day, she’ll become a lawyer to help her dad’s case. She then said she wanted to be alone and was found two hours later in a closet. She didn’t leave a note.

She was declared brain dead a week later at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Queens.

Dr. Charles Schleien told CNN that she was in a “neurologically devastated state” upon arrival with “no hope for recovery.” He went on to disclose that the Gámaz family “chose to turn tragedy into the gift of life. Heydi is an organ donor and her final act will be to save others.”

The mental health impacts of family separation at our borders can only be told one story at a time.

Credit: @apbenven / Twitter

It is the only empathic way to relate to the emotional scars of our community. Every story is important. Every life lost to policies that don’t incorporate the most visceral human desires, like growing up with your father by your side, is one life too many. 

What on earth are we doing?

Credit: @JoeGould50 / Twitter

How can anyone go about business as usual? How do we humanize brown-skinned people to every voter and decision-maker? The only way we know how is to continually voice your concerns to your representatives and create space for these stories. Don’t look away. The grief of the Gámaz family is all of our grief. 

A Manuel, you did not fail your daughter. We all did. We are so sorry.

Here’s The Latest Migrant To Die Due To Trump’s Dangerous Immigration Policies

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Here’s The Latest Migrant To Die Due To Trump’s Dangerous Immigration Policies

@oscarlestrada / Twitter

His name is Yimi Alexis Balderramos-Torres. He is 30-years-old, and since 2013, he’s been trying desperately to enter the United States of America. He tried to re-enter this year, this time bringing his son, only to be told he’d have to return to Mexico. Now, this young man will never return to the U.S. ever again

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported that 30-year-old Yimi Alexis Balderramos-Torres was found dead inside a detention center.

Investigators are looking into the cause of death, but according to an ICE press release, Balderramos-Torres was “found unresponsive in his dormitory. Attempts by medical personnel from ICE Health Service Corps (IHSC) and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to revive Balderramos-Torres were unsuccessful. EMS immediately transferred him to [the hospital] and medical staff pronounced him deceased on June 30 at 6:45 a.m. (CDT).”

Balderramos-Torres is the sixth person to die in U.S. custody, and the 25th person to die under the Trump Administration.

Credit: @votolatino / Twitter

This statistics does not include the death count of children.

While the man had originally been sent back to Mexico in May, under Trump’s new policy of “Remain In Mexico” — which is not the standard for asylum seekers, it’s unclear why they didn’t send him back when he was apprehended the following month.

According to BuzzFeed, “more than 15,000 individuals have been sent back to Mexico through the program, according to statistics released by the Mexican government. Last week, a group of asylum officers urged a federal appeals court to block the program, calling it ‘contrary to the moral fabric of our nation.’

Less than a month after being in detention, Balderramos-Torres died.

Credit: @h3llwascool / Twitter

Several news reports that conditions in these facilities are inhumane due to the overcrowdedness, lack of hygiene products, lack of water, and freezing temperatures. Some detainees are also under quarantine due to an outbreak of the measles and chicken pox.

The death is just part of a trend of people dying in U.S. custody as they attempt to come to the U.S.

There is growing concern from American citizens and the international community about the increasing deaths. The conditions in several immigration centers is drawing outrage from people calling on the U.S. government to do better. Children are dying in detention centers for the first time in a decade and the trend seems to only be becoming the norm.

READ: Migrants Children Are Getting Sick In Detention Centers But The Trump Administration Doesn’t Want To Give Them Toothbrushes

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