South America is the fourth largest continent out of the 7 continents in the world. One of its characteristics is its high rate of population growth. The changing demography can be explained through history. The history of the Iberian conquest and economic development. The Iberian conquest brought diseases like smallpox, measles, malaria, and yellow fever which lead to a long period of high death rates and a declining population. Since the conquest, changes in public health have decreased results. The result of these changes have contributed to a high fertility rate and low mortality rate (Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. 2012.)
Figure 1 Iberian Conquest from http://www2.truman.edu/~marc/webpages/andean2k/conquest/
There are several factors that have contributed to the fertility rate. One factor includes availability and acceptability of birth control methods. One economic factor is the benefits of having more children to help on family farms and provide security for the parents as they age. Before the expansion of mandatory education, the cost of child-rearing were lower. After the expansion of mandatory education the cost of child rearing were higher and this reduced the benefits of having more children. By reducing the benefits, women had to find employment to support their family. In the early 2000′s, birth rates starting to decline due to easier access to birth control (2012.)
GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT
“For these women, there is no presumption of innocence; they are guilty.”-Michele Stopera Freyhauf
Figure 2 by Eric Droker shows a woman being crucified in the shape of the uterus. The picture is a metaphor of the crucification of Jesus.
Imagine a woman in your life or yourself living in Latin America ready to take on motherhood. During her first trimester, she wakes up in the middle of the night and finds herself in a small pool of blood. She is rushed into the emergency room and seen by the doctor. The doctor leaves the room and comes back with a police officer who cuffs you to the bed.
In South American countries like El Salvador, Chile, Colombia, and Nicaragua, women who have miscarriages, this is their reality. When women in Latin American society have miscarriages they usually end up in the hospital where the emergency doctor will notify authorities about the miscarriage and have the woman arrested. The jail sentencing varies but can range anywhere from 3-50 years in prison (Echezona 2008.)
In El Salvador, a prosecutor’s office has been set up to prosecute crimes against minors are women who have abortions or miscarriages. The office staff consists of, “police, investigators, medical spies, and forensic vagina inspectors.” The staff have an obligation to report these “crimes,” that are focused on, “young, uneducated and impoverished women.” Many of these women do not receive justice but are guilty until proven innocent (2008).
SOUTH AMERICAN WAY TO PREVENT HAVING
HISTORY BEHIND MACA
When the Spaniards conquered the Andes mountain, they discovered that they had little to no sex drive. Their horses and domestic animals were not reproduces. They also noticed that the local Indians were not reproducing either. There was a secret vegetable that grew only in the Andes mountain that would increase their sex drive called Maca. The animals started to eat Maca and started to reproduce. The Spaniards also noticed that after they ate Maca their sex drive increased and females were pregnant.
WHAT IS MACA?
“Peru’s natural Viagra.”
Maca is turnip grown only in the high Andes of Peru and Ecuador. It is safely blended with a mix of nutrients and is used as a supplement to preserve pregnancy. It is thought that conception is impossible past 12,000 feet of altitude but the consumption of the supplement can increase libido (Increasing Fertility and Maintaining Pregnancy Naturally 2012). Maca is thought to increase strength, energy, stamina, libido, and sexual function (Maca: Peru’s Natural Viagra 2012).
Figure 3 shows Maca a vegetable found only in the high Andes of Peru and Ecuador from prostate.net/prostate-health-supplements-a-z.
Maca is still used today to prevent miscarriages and help women carry to term. It has been shown to increase the birth weight of children. Maca works by increase progesterone production and it adds weight to the baby. Maca is also thought to control estrogen. The supplement is also thought to reduce leg swelling and development of spider veins that occur during childbearing (Increasing Fertility and Maintaining Pregnancy Naturally 2012).