Have or Have not…

23 Nov

Abortion.  Nobody really wants to talk about it, but it seems that everybody is doing it.  First-the facts:

[B]lacks made up 17 percent of live births, they made up more than twice that share of abortions (36 percent). If those aborted children had been born, the number of blacks born would have been slightly over 50 percent greater than it was.

The comparison with whites and other minorities is striking. Whites made up 78 percent of live births, but only 57 percent of abortions. Non-black minorities had 7 percent of live births and 5 percent of abortions. If the aborted children had been born for either group, the percentage increase in the number of children born to these groups would have been less than that for blacks: 16 and 32 percent, respectively (source)

Now…how true are these facts? The source, if you click on it, happens to be the (not so) Fair and balanced FoxNews targeting Planned Parenthood for its family planning practices but politics aside, what is the deal with black women and abortion?  Whether you agree or disagree with it, it happens.  It’s happening right now, and if saw For Colored Girls you know that sometimes its not happening in the safest of situations.  In 2010 why are we still so sexually irresponsible?

Exceptions aside, most people that are choosing to terminate a pregnancy are doing so out of free will and are in that situation for the same reason.  Unsafe or unprotected sex resulting in an unwanted pregnancy leading many to abortion, right? My question, as a mental health practitioner is “why” and my next is “How can we fix it?”

Why-why are girls and women not on birth control? Not condoms, but birth control.  Here’s the difference, birth control: controls the birth of children, contraceptives: attempt to prevent birth by natural or artificial means.  The thing with contraceptives is that, they don’t always work.  Condoms break-if they’re even used,  other methods like the pull-out method aren’t full-proof as semen can escape the penis prior to ejaculation.  Birth control (pills/shots/IUDs), however, control what happens to the egg.  Thing is…many women just DON’T use birth control.  They don’t want to gain weight, or they think taking it everyday is a chore, [fill in excuse here] and as a result…

How to fix it-I’m a firm believer that there is no reason why in 2010 ANYONE should be “forced” to make a decision like this one.  It is safe to say that no one makes the decision to terminate a pregnancy lightly.  Therefore education of prevention must be spread like the gospel.  Yes, abstinence is a wonderful method of birth control, however realistically people can and will make different decisions.  We must accept that, and act accordingly.   Talk to your children, sisters, friends, about options.  When we normalize the conversation, we get rid of the shame and the taboo of it, and people become more likely to get educated.  Don’t only discuss the biology of sex, but also the emotional toll it can take.  I recently read that singer-Fantasia had an abortion that preceded her now famous suicide attempt.  This is not uncommon.  Abortion can affect women in an array of different ways, and depression is one of them.  Talking about the emotions surrounding sex and the possible consequences is absolutely vital.

Did you have a sex talk with your mom?  Did you have a sex talk about your kids? Are you discussing the emotional toll sex and its consequences can have?

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One Response to “Have or Have not…”

  1. Brownbelle November 23, 2010 at 3:40 am #

    Well, a major side effect of hormonal birth control is loss of libido. And no woman who has yet to go through menopause wants KY to be a mandatory part of her bedroom routine! I wouldn’t call that an excuse because the whole point of BC is so you can purely recreational sex.

    Aside from that, it all boils down to access, education, and self-empowerment. Abstinence sex ed is unfortunately the state mandate in Georgia, but it has been proven not to work. Which means parents have to step in (which they should have been doing all along!).

    Condoms don’t break as often as people think–if you use the right size and put on a new one for each session, you’ll usually be fine. It’s just that people find it inconvenient to interrupt the heat of the moment.

    The bottom line is that when you teach kids about sex, boys and girls both need to be taught that there is no way to get around the consequences. Either you decide to inconvenience yourself with taking a pill every day or putting up with the loss of sensation & annoyance that comes with condoms–or you have a baby that will inconvenience you FOR LIFE. Pick your poison.

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