Cuban Beliefs as to Childbearing and Pregnancy Termination
Maternal health has a lot of effects on women and the well-being of born and unborn children. In Cuban heritage, the catholic and other religions greatly influence the beliefs concerning childbearing and pregnancy termination. Some of the views in Cuba entail the role of women in childbirth. The mother, as the caregiver, is expected to possess technical knowledge of maternal health and child care (Berer, 2017). The catholic church believes that abortion is illegal as it takes out life (Berer, 2017). During earlier periods, pregnancy termination got limited to specific cases. Some of the circumstances that warranted abortion were providing safety to the mother or pregnancy due to rape.
With passing time, despite the widespread catholic religion, pregnancy termination got legalized, with medical institutions covering the costs (Berer, 2017). The legalization of abortion is an attempt to reduce the mortality rate caused by women conducting private abortions. However, pregnancy termination after ten weeks of pregnancy necessitates evaluation (Chhikara, 2020). Therefore, the country restricts pregnancy termination due to the risks to women rather than moral or religious obligations. Women are therefore allowed to make choices of childbearing or terminating their pregnancies (Chhikara, 2020). As a result, the legalization of abortion is among the most effective birth control strategy in the country.
The decision to conduct an abortion is left to the patient, after which the nurses and other medical caregivers have the mandate to provide competent care. Therefore, one of the significant responsibilities of nurses entails determining the termination period, providing antibiotics during the procedure, and educating mothers on how to take care of themselves after the abortion (WHO, 2012). Additionally, the nurse gets to clear doubts on the patient, if any, concerning the procedure. For instance, in this case, as the nurse, it is essential to show Mrs. Hernandez that the pregnancy termination helps protect her health conditions. By doing so, the patient becomes comfortable and aware of the procedures.
Nurses have the mandate to provide psychosocial support to their patients. Some of the care includes helping them decide, undergo the process, and advise on future planning (Mainey et al., 2020). The support helps reduce anxiety and stress among mothers undergoing an abortion. The nurse is also mandated to provide a conducive environment for the procedure to occur, thus reducing any unforeseen risks that may affect the mother. Additionally, nurses are expected to show sympathy to patients to minimize emotional turmoil (WHO, 2012). Through the support of the nurses, most abortions are safe, thus protecting the lives of women.
Nurses and midwives are entitled to their religious beliefs concerning pregnancy termination. However, such views are not considered ethical to conscientious objection to abortion. Conscientious objection is only allowed to present a context of what is at stake (Chavkin et al., 2017). For instance, health care providers who feel the mother’s life is at stake may refuse to conduct the abortion. The right to refuse to provide an abortion needs a balance between patients’ interests and the rights of nurses.
Some of the consequences of conscientious objection are losing one’s license, prosecution, and fines. Refusal to terminate a pregnancy can endanger the mother’s life (Chavkin et al., 2017). If the mother’s health is affected, the provider may get fined for the expenses needed. Conscientious objection has limitations that focus on an individual’s health (Chavkin et al., 2017). Hence refusing to care for a patient based on religious beliefs is considered a denial of social justice and unethical. In severe cases where a nurse cannot perform an abortion, an immediate referral is needed to protect the mother.
Berer, M. (2017). Abortion law and policy around the world: in search of decriminalization. Health and Human Rights, 19(1), 13.
Chavkin, W., Swerdlow, L., & Fifield, J. (2017). Regulation of conscientious objection to abortion: An international comparative multiple-case Study. Health and Human Rights, 19(1), 55–68.
Chhikara, R. (2020). The conflicting jurisprudence behind the laws on abortion. SSRN Electronic Journal,1-21. Web.
Mainey, L., O’Mullan, C., Reid‐Searl, K., Taylor, A., & Baird, K. (2020). The role of nurses and midwives in the provision of abortion care: A scoping review. Journal of clinical nursing, 29(9-10), 1513-1526.
WHO. (2012). Clinical care for women undergoing abortion – Safe abortion – NCBI bookshelf. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Web.