A Mexican woman gave birth on a lawn outside a clinic, in a scenario that has haunted the minds of pregnant women everywhere as they too await the arrival of their babies… preferably while keeping off the grass.
The tale that ends with a horrfying image of a woman’s face as she gives birth on the lawn began when Irma Lopez, 29, began experiencing contractions on October 2.
Lopez, who has three kids at home, walked for an hour with her husband before arriving at Oaxaca’s Rural health center… where despite being close to her due date at eight months pregnant and presenting with full dilation, she was sent outside to “walk.” The exact reasons behind the refusal to treat Lopez were not reported.
Looking at the later picture, it appears the baby just fell out at some point. That’s not precisely how the event went down, but it’s worryingly close.
While Lopez was told a doctor would see her soon, she and her spouse walked as her water broke and she began to experience labor in earnest. As her husband left to fetch assistance, Lopez “squatted” in her dress… and the baby arrived soon after.
The following image, captured by bystanders of the woman as she gave birth on a lawn outside the facility, seems to telegraph not only her fear and helplessness — but that of the newborn, whose first moments of life are spent cold and naked on the grass.
Lopez, like many of her local peers, can be counted among the 20 percent of women who do not give birth in proper medical facilities in Oaxaca.
The mom of four later said that the lawn delivery was truly as bad as it sounded and looked, and she added:
“I didn’t want to deliver like this. It was so ugly and with so much pain.”
Mayra Morales, Oaxaca’s representative for the national Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, agrees.
She says the haunting photo, in which Lopez gives birth on the lawn and appears to be pleading, tells an important story about the lack of reach for proper medical care into Mexico’s more rural areas:
“The photo is giving visibility to a wider structural problem that occurs within indigenous communities: Women are not receiving proper care. They are not being offered quality health services, not even a humane treatment.”
After the birth on a lawn October 2, the Rural Health Center of the village of San Felipe Jalapa de Diaz in Oaxaca is under investigation.