I want to start planning my future again. I want to look for a job and I want to go back to school because you never know what might happen in the near future.
Kudzai Mujuru has always dreamed of becoming a nurse. When she fell pregnant aged 17, she was forced to put those dreams on hold.
Before her pregnancy, she had been working as a housemaid in the town of Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe. Her plan was to save enough money to pay her way through nursing school. The father of her child was a friend from church but, when she told him she was pregnant, he refused to accept any responsibility.
“I had to leave my job and move home with my mother. She has been helping me take care of my child ever since. It is very hard because my mother struggles to earn a living herself.”
“I want to start planning my future again. I want to look for a job and I want to go back to school because you never know what might happen in the near future. I might find a man to date and I might fall pregnant again, which will ruin my plans.”
Kudzai returned to the clinic on a day when she knew the MSI Reproductive Choices' outreach team would be there. A nurse counselled her on the full range of contraception available, and she decided on a contraceptive implant, which will protect her from unplanned pregnancy for five years. As the outreach work was supported by USAID, all services were provided free of charge.
The service was good. The staff treated me with warmth. I will now tell all my friends about the benefits of using long term contraception. They all have plans for the future too.
Thanks to the support of USAID, MSI Reproductive Choices' teams in Zimbabwe have been able to provide voluntary family planning services from dozens of outreach sites like this one, all over the country. Annually, USAID funding has supported the programme to prevent more than 92,000 unplanned pregnancies, more than 27,400 unsafe abortions, and nearly 300 maternal deaths.
On the day Kudzai visited the clinic, she was one of 91 women who accessed free voluntary contraception through the service. With the re-enactment of the Global Gag Rule, this access is no longer guaranteed, and the futures of tens of thousands of women are once again hanging in the balance.