race abortion

When it comes to sex and unplanned pregnancy, a lot of people find it easy to pass judgment.

After all, someone will likely say, we all know how people get pregnant. Condoms are cheaper than child support. And the easiest way to not get knocked up is to not have sex at all.

Oh, so simple, it seems. Yet, according to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, by age 45 half of all American women will have had an unintended pregnancy. So, a lot of that teeth sucking and judging doesn’t quite fit a reality where there’s a good chance the person passing the judgment has either had an unplanned pregnancy, knows someone who has, or was an unplanned pregnancy themselves in their own mother’s womb.

But it’s easy to pass judgment on those who are the most vulnerable. Like the poor and the uninsured – who have become the face of who gets an abortion in this country.

From Guttmacher:

Poor women accounted for 42% of all abortions in 2008, and their abortion rate increased 18% between 2000 and 2008, from 44.4 to 52.2 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44. In comparison, the national abortion rate for 2008 was 19.6 per 1,000, reflecting an 8% decline from a rate of 21.3 in 2000. Abortion rates decreased 18% among African American women in the same period, the largest decline among the four racial and ethnic groups examined. Notwithstanding this decline, the abortion rate among African American women is higher than the rate for both Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women: 40.2 per 1,000, compared with 28.7 and 11.5, respectively.

Reproductive health. Sex. Pregnancy. Money. It’s a part of life. You have to eat to live. Tax time comes every year. People are going to have sex. They’re going to have it unprotected or otherwise, safe or otherwise, consensual or … sadly … otherwise. And you can’t create public health policy based on fantasy or how you might “wish” people would conduct themselves, unless you live in one of the many states here in America that believes birth control is a luxury, women’s health is a “niche” issue and abortion is best if you make so it’s only an option to those who have the best means to reproductive health in the first place – the insured and the wealthy.

Everyone else? You’re on your own. If you’re poor and a woman, you likely don’t have health insurance. Birth control is expensive. You also probably have a hard time getting time off for doctor visits (that you also can’t afford), because your service job won’t allow it. You’d go to Planned Parenthood for reduced birth control, but that’s if there’s one near you, if you have access to transportation, if you can take the time off.

How did you get pregnant? Maybe it was a long-time boyfriend. Maybe it was the father of your child, your husband, or a one-night stand. No matter who it was, you have your reasons why you can’t be pregnant. But if you were lucky and found you were pregnant early, you should be able to get an abortion … if you can afford it. The average cost for a first trimester abortion is $470 and 57 percent of women pay their abortions out-of-pocket. If you get Medicaid, it only covers abortions in the case of rape, incest, or risk to the woman’s life, and only 17 states will pay for the abortions Medicaid won’t cover.

Because you have to pay out-of-pocket you spend a lot of time trying to raise funds for the procedure. And that comes out of your hourly pay … if you can get the time off from work without getting fired. And if you can get there. Is there adequate public transportation? Do you have a car? If you don’t, do you know someone who can give you a ride? Do you feel safe even telling anyone what you need that ride for?

Because 87 percent of U.S. counties don’t have an abortion provider, meaning most women have to travel as much as 50 miles to an abortion provider.

The end result is often women having children they can’t take care of or pursuing unsafe or unreliable means of birth control, of being trapped in a cycle of poverty, getting deeper and deeper into a system of debt and welfare they find near impossible to get out of. And it’s easy to say “personal responsibility.” Until you consider that if you’re a taxpayer, you end up paying anyway. In fact, you pay more when emergency rooms and unwanted children stuck in an inadequate and stressed child welfare system we pay for is the back-up plan.

But by simply having better access to health care, lower cost birth control, and a more understanding workplace that realizes employees – even low wage, service employees – need medical time off, could have solved this. It could have created a situation where a woman didn’t need an abortion, or could deal with her unwanted pregnancy earlier. But instead, we have a system that doesn’t help women make better reproductive choices. It leaves them trapped in them.

And the only advice is “don’t have sex.” And that sounds simple. But statistics say it’s not.

  • Chillyroad

    Of those poor women who have no insurance how many of them are here illegally? Don’t count them in this statistic please.

    Accept that your lot have lost this debate. Since this is a black woman’s space lets speak specifically about black women. We know how much DISPOSABLE income black women have. You can no longer fudge the numbers and move the parameters on what constitutes poverty. Black women can afford health care.

    Just accept that there is really a culture among “poor” people that keeps them “poor.”

    And for arguments sake lets say that reproductive health care was made available to poor women…we would then be met by tall tales of Marget Sanger, eugenics, and population control.

  • http://www.facebook.com/felicityrankinsrhode Felicity Rhode

    Nope. I’m not buying it. If you cannot afford to have children, then you should not have children. That’s it. Except in the case of rape, we definitely have the power to decide whether or not we want to get pregnant. Point blank, period.

  • Yvette

    This is a lot to digest. I have a question that I hope someone can answer.

    We (Black women) are more likely than Hispanic women to have unplanned pregnancies. BUT we’re also more likely to have health insurance. It seems that if (according to the author) access to health insurance is part of the solution, then our rate of unplanned pregnancies would be lower.

    There’s a deeper problem that we’re overlooking, but I just don’t know what it is. Anyone have any ideas?

  • Yvette

    Felicity, you’re oversimplifying the problem. The author’s point was that it’s a catch-22 for poor women. They can’t afford health insurance to protect them from getting pregnant, but they also can’t afford to get abortions. I’m curious what the solution is from your perspective – to not have sex at all?

  • Kacey

    I am blown away by the huge discrepancies between black women and white women when it comes to unintended pregnancies and abortion rates! The numbers are even significantly higher than hispanic women.

    Like Yvette said above, there definitely something very wrong, and I don’t think being poor is it.

  • Ask_Me

    These unplanned pregnancies are more likely to come from Tameka from the hood who doesn’t have healthy insurance than Michelle from the suburbs with health insurance and a 401k. In short, it’s very much a class issue.

  • LemonNLime

    I completely agree. We live in a time where excuses are made for everything when really it is lack of personal responsibility. Condoms are cheap (and often free) and can be purchased at any corner store. If you can afford the purses, shoes, weave, and club then you can afford birth control. Excluding cases of rape and incest, many people lack the common sense to not engage in activities that will result in expensive consequences.

    I know it isn’t PC but like it or not, women carry the burden of childbirth. Everyone involved is responsible for protecting yourself. I know it takes two to tango but considering one of those partners is contributing for 15 seconds and the other is taken out for 9 months, you have to do what you have to do to protect your body. You can’t depend on anyone else to. If old dude refuses to wear a condom, then nothing is going down. Then you don’t have to deal with this issue.

  • I got sense!

    You don’t need health care to avoid getting pregnant! What world are you living in? I’ve never had health insurance, including now and guess what I’ve never been pregnant. I’m not saying that there are no disparities but who, when, where and why you open you legs to have sex is solely controlled by the individual, save for rape of course. Also, birth control is not expensive. You can get the pill for $18-20 from planned parenthood. There is also a plethora of over the counter birth control available.

  • kylieky

    The problem is this: all the people that can afford to bear the burden of having a child are not having children. The people who cannot are the one having children. It like Chillyroad said, “Just accept that there is really a culture among “poor” people that keeps them “poor”. “

  • Lisss

    This is not for everyone. I repeat THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. But i’m always amazed at the way abstinence/celibacy is easily dismissed as if it was something from la-la-land that cannot be accomplished in real life when thousands of men and women live it everyday. When i see things such as:
    “And the only advice is “don’t have sex.” And that sounds simple. But statistics say it’s not.”

    I have to wonder if it is being taught properly. If i tell my child simply to not have sex without any explanations, then there is a good chance she will end up with some dude. However, if i explain to her the beauty of sex, the way it was meant to be done, the strength gained in waiting and sharing it with the RIGHT person, there’s also a good chance that she just might listen. It is ok for us to wait. Its ok to tell young men and women (matter of fact women and men of all ages) that there is no shame in practicing celibacy or abstinence. That it can be part of the solution. I know that this is not a course that many can take. But my issue is the way it is dismissed so carelessly in discussions about reproductive health.

  • Robbie

    @ Felicity You hit the nail on the head.

    My comment now.
    The excuse that people (including the author) would come up with to explain abortions and unwanted pregnanices in 2013 is just stupid. Thumbs me down if yall want. Bear responsibilities for your Own actions and stop blaming others. Whether you poor or not does not justify the right to kill an innocent unborn child that is the result of your SELFISH and FOOLISHNESS attitude. Don’t get me started on getting an STD by having unprotected sex.

  • Keepitreal

    I can’t believe I am about to say this but I agree with that person above, “Just accept that there is really a culture among “poor” people that keeps them “poor.”
    Oh and the author can shove the “no judgement! no judgement!” shtick seeing how it’s contributed to this culture.

  • kamille

    @ I got sense!

    You all forget, that in the South there is a real concerted conservative right-wing/Republican “Christian” effort to defund and eliminate Planned Parenthood all together. It’s not Mass. or New York-Texas is working right now to come up with excuses as to why Planned Parenthood shouldn’t get funding. And it’s not just Texas-Arizona, Mississippi, etc etc. Poor women in these bat-shit crazy southern republican states don’t just have access to Planned Parenthood all willy nilly. I used to live in Dayton, TX (a small country town), about 30 minutes from Houston, if you’re poor and don’t have a car to get to a Planned Parenthood, then you’re screwed. Period.

    Yea, you can say condoms are cheap, maybe at Planned Parenthood. Last time I checked a box of Trojans was like $15 at Walgreens. So $15 towards food or $15 toward a box of condoms, when in these women’s minds-they can use the pull-out method. You have to factor in the lack of sexual education in these Southern baptisist states (hell in the public school system really), and many don’t know where to turn to for help. You all are out of touch with reality.

    The fact is: many poor women don’t have knowledge about reproductive health and sex education nor the access. It has to start early so that these poor girls don’t become poor women who are pregnant and can’t afford abortions.

  • kamille

    To add to Ask_Me’s comment.

    It’s class and education. Tameka from the hood, most likely didn’t go to a school that had funding for sex education. And it’s most likely that Tameka’s parents didn’t educate Tameka about contraception and reproductive health resources like Planned Parenthood. And even then…does Tameka live in a place where she has access to Planned Parenthood?

  • Yvette

    @Lisss – Study after study shows that abstinence-only programs DO NOT WORK. Young people who participate in these programs were no more likely to delay sex.

    And when they did become sexually active, kids who participated in the abstinence-only program had the same number of sexual partners, and were no more likely to use contraception.

    http://www.guttmacher.org/media/inthenews/2007/04/18/index.html

    I’d rather educate my child about how to protect him/herself than to waste time teaching something that clearly doesn’t work.

  • YeahRight2011

    “And for arguments sake lets say that reproductive health care was made available to poor women…we would then be met by tall tales of Marget Sanger, eugenics, and population control.”

    I hit the flag button, not on purpose. I agree the above.

  • Keepitreal

    Irresponsibility, too many of our sisters just don’t give a fuck, point black and period. When it comes to sexual responsibility they have a laissez faire policy. They have the attitude, hey it’s no big deal to bring a child into the world without the resources after all government daddy will have their backs. Their little “blessings” (more like bastards) become everyone else’s burdens-in more ways than one & and this cycle repeats generation after generation after generation.

  • OH

    Yes, that would be a start but I suppose that’s way too difficult a task huh? There are all sorts of programs out there providing low, 15 dollars a month low, to zero cost birth control so those excuses don’t fly.

  • Pseudonym

    I think in a lot of black communities (especially poorer ones), men impregnating women and not strongly co-parenting their kids and women making babies with those men is acceptable and considered normal behavior. I remember talking to these women in their 60s who were expressing disgust at how the “baby momma/baby daddy” culture is celebrated instead of looked down on (You can even witness it in how many comment battles go down on this site defending this culture.). One of them said, “Back in the day, you would be ashamed to be 16 and pregnant by some no-good man. and you were a warning to everyone else sign b/c all pregnant children got sent away and your life was in shambles. Now everyone just focuses on how cute the baby is and moms help raise the kids.”

    I’m in the healthcare field and I see so many pregnant black teenagers come in with their moms and all smiles, excited to find out when they’ll be able to learn if it’s a boy or a girl. and the mom’s are all smiles as well (and usually about 15-17 years older then their daughters).

    If it happens it happens and I don’t want us to judge and punish people for their past mistakes, HOWEVER we need to attach stigma to unplanned pregnancy to help discourage its occurrence. Instead of trying to twist things to make what they did right, those who had unplanned kids should tell other that- while they love their kids and they’re the best thing to happen to them blah blah blah- it’s REALLY hard being a single parent and if they could have had their kids under more stable circumstances with a better partner, they would definitely choose that option.

    Also, within poorer communities there needs to be a demonstrated difference b/w the outcome of those who have babies at 16 and those who have babies at 25. There’s been research that shows that in the poorest communities b/c of bad schools and no job training, the difference between teenage moms and those in their 20s is no difference, so there’s no real incentive to wait before having children. At least the welfare moms get a check to keep their wigs did and nail polish poppin.

    That’s another thing that puzzles/annoys me. In clinic, I RARELY see Medicaid baby mommas who look like they’re actually struggling financially. I would say that 99% of them have fancier hair dos (and expensive wigs), fancier nails (I can only afford to get my nails done a few times a year according to my personal budget), nicer clothes, flashier bags, etc. than me and my other better paid friends. It’s quite ridiculous.

    Yes…I rambled…sorry.

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    I have asked this before, but didn’t get an answer.

    Who owns this website? The info that I have been able to find on the web is sketch at best.

    Who decides what you write about?

    The government is not the answer to black women getting fewer abortions/having more children out of wedlock.

    The government is the answer to very few questions, and so I think we need to stop looking to it as some sort of solution to problems that affect our community.

  • KR

    The problem is you have poor UNEDUCATED black women embracing liberals ideology on family (devaluing the importance of marriage, men in the home and the traditional nuclear family while promoting this “New Familial Structure”). You also have poor UNEDUCATED black women embracing the feminist ideology on sex and a woman’s reproductive rights.

    The end result is Black Matriarchy and Black Feminism. Black Matriarchy is “I don’t need no man” (to have a family). Black Feminism is quasi or ghetto feminism. The uneducated poor black women want the rights won by white feminist but refuse to accept the accountability and responsibility that comes with having 100% control of reproduction pre and post pregnancy. They want to have sex with who they want, when they want. Abort the kids they don’t want and then turn around and blame the black man “he shoulda used a condom” for the OTHER kids she decides to keep!!! smmfh 60% of never married black baby mamas have multiple baby daddies. White Feminist would roll their eyes or laugh in your face if you explained your pregnancy by saying the boy/man should have used a condom. lol Condoms are good for short term lookups and prevention of STD’s and that’s it. CONDOMS have never worked for any NATION nor race as an exclusive means of birth control. Yet black women are pushing this condoms only narrative and female contraceptives are optional/ not needed. We know it’s a lie. 50% black abortions and 72% illegitmacy confirms it’s a lie. Many of these same women have had an abortion(s) and have unplanned illegitimate kid(s). Yet these Black women want to discount or dismiss the emotional aspect of sex and expect teenagers and young adults to use a condom every time? Something they’ve been unable to do themselves. That is borderline child abuse. IMO I guess failure and misery love comfort. lol We know when trust is built and emotions and feelings are involved the condom is not used or not used as frequently. It’s just a fact of life. So, yes if you’re going to be sexually active, ALWAYS plan on using a condom but if you don’t want to get pregnant you better have a backup plan. If you don’t sooner or later you’re going to get pregnant and have to make the choice of an abortion or 9 months of pregnancy. Per doctors….. 2 options that are much riskier than female contraceptives. A Healthy young woman can get pregnant pretty quickly.

    It’s clear. In this age of the sexual revolution, white women with a bachelors degree (ie most white feminist) have an illegitimacy rate of 4 to 6% which is as close to ZERO as you can get. Even black women with a degree have an illegitimacy rate of 30%. Which is not good but still manageable. This means black women w/o a degree have a much higher illegitmacy rate than the 72% often quoted. Over 80% (8 out of 10) black women don’t have a degree (this is the overwhelming majority of black baby mamas) .

    With 50% abortions, 50% dropout rates, poverty and crime out of control, at some point, black MEN and women are going to have to admit that liberals and feminist ideology on family and sex have been a complete disaster for black kids, black women, the black family and the black community. Pre 1960′s almost every black kid had a father in the home and the black community was extremely stable in spite abject poverty, discrimination, segregation and Jim Crow. Everything liberal ain’t good and everything conservative ain’t bad.

  • Nicole

    Yes, the solution is to simply not have sex. Why is this such a difficult thing to do? I’m a virgin and do not believe in sex before marriage. Needless to say, I’ve never had to worry about STDs, abortions, or out of wedlock children, etc.

    More people need to practice self control and discipline. It’s a cop-out to state that a poor woman got pregnant because she couldn’t afford birth control. News-flash, poor women need to learn how to forego sex and focus on their education and progress. Doing so will ensure that they progress and not regress.

    Poor people give away their power to others, whey they allow people to believe that they are incapable of making the right decisions for themselves.

  • Lemony

    So if you are patient and you wait to have sex until you marry the right person, but you just happen to be poor should you not have sex? I don’t think its dismissed in discussions of reproductive health because its hard, I think history has proven that telling people to just not have sex doesn’t work. Abstinence isn’t a solution. People who live in poverty fall in love with the same passion and intensity as the 1% and young people…I remember my first “love” I was sure that he was the one (he wasn’t). What’s wrong with wanting affodable healthcare? Condoms and birth control shouldn’t be luxuries.

  • leelah

    PLEASE TELL …How much disposable income black women have?

  • cb

    good article Snob

  • KR

    Here’s the truth. Teenagers have been having sex since the beginning of time. The difference is they use to get married in their teens. If a woman wasn’t married by her mid 20′s, she was looked at as something was wrong with her. Today marriage is optional and for black women marriage in her 20′s is not really even encouraged or promoted.

    There has never been a time in the history of civilization where a majority of grown women were abstinent. Were you absentinate your entire life or later as an adult? Demanding abstinence for teenage girls WITHOUT other options is ignorance without knowledge of history. Eveyone is different.

  • Allie

    Wow. I read some of these comments and I’m just in awe of the ignorance and simplification of this very complex issue. I think this article had touched on some very important issues. For me when it comes to unplanned pregnancy and abortions I feel that the best way to reduce the numbers is access. Access to education, to contraceptives, and other services, because contrary to popular belief a lot of girls and women don’t have that.

  • Chillyroad

    Where is the black church in all this? I bring them up because black women are reportedly among the most religious groups in America with very high rates of church attendance. Where are they in the abstinence and abortion issue?

    It’s obvious that the black church doesn’t exist to promote Christian morals and propriety. It is really a place where black women go to be entertained and socialise. Why not call it the country club that it has turned itself into?

  • ruggie

    We can’t really say that poor women have higher abortion rates. Take note of the fact that poor people are most likely to get their care at clinics, where abortions are documented. Women of means are able to go to private doctors and get a D&C (dilation and curettage, or uterus scraping) which could be used for any number of medical purposes but which practically function as an abortion if there had been a viable fetus there. The actual abortion rates of the wealthy are not recorded, so the comparison is an estimate at best.

  • http://elegantblackwoman.blogspot.com Elegance

    I’m not buying it. It would be interesting to compare the unplanned pregnancy, abortion, and unplanned birth rates in socalled third world countries to the U.S. Black rates. How many teenaged, unwed moms are in those countries? How many women have multiple babies with multiple men? That would shed some light on whether this is just a poverty thing or not. I’m guessing that in poor countries the rates are less because the girls and women just don’t have sex as much when they are not married, they abstain. In the past women abstained so it’s not as though it’s impossible. Casual sex has only recently become “the norm” in some countries.

  • http://gravatar.com/mimiandy1683 MimiLuvs

    “…That’s it. Except in the case of rape, we definitely have the power to decide whether or not we want to get pregnant…”

    From my experience, I know that there are people who believe otherwise.

  • wfm

    @I got sense
    “You can get the pill for $18-20 from planned parenthood. There is also a plethora of over the counter birth control available.”

    The govt is cutting funding for Planned Parenthood. Many have closed down.

  • TT

    You make it seem so difficult to not have sex at all when it’s not. But if you choose to, condoms are extremely affordable and there are programs out there that allow women to get low cost birth control. And how about teaching women to take responsibility for protecting themselves. Don’t always rely on a man. And if neither of you have protection and you don’t want to get pregnant, don’t have sex. It’s probably a never ending cycle. Irresponsible young people having kids then these kids have kids etc.

  • TT

    I completely agree. Trust me it’s not that hard to not have sex. I feel like a lot of women and men feel pressure to do it. And there is a lot miseducation/no education out there about sex in the first place. And parents are afraid to talk to their kids about sex and they end up learning the wrongs things from their friends or movies. Talking to kids about sex does not make them want to do it.

  • Tim

    Not realistic. Teenagers have been having sex and getting pregnant since the beginning of time. The differences is they use to get married as teenagers. Marriage isn’t promoted nor really encouraged for black women in their 20′s.

  • wfm

    So wrong! I have been to the abortion clinic with a 401K and health insurance. Health insurance or not ,I paid cash. Michelle, Becky, Ming Lee, Maria, and Tameka all were there, with different stories. Husbands were in the waiting room, other children, friends/dads/moms/grandmothers offering support, and boyfriends.People have all kinds of stories, that actually are nobodys business. Abortion has no one true face.
    You don’t know what Becky is doing, most of her stats never get counted. Some of you are very naive. You think all abortion clinics are in the phone book, lol?!!?! Many people can AFFORD for private care that will never reach any study.

  • Tim

    The problem is you have poor UNEDUCATED black women embracing liberals ideology on family (devaluing the importance of marriage, men in the home and the traditional nuclear family while promoting this “New Familial Structure”). You also have poor UNEDUCATED black women embracing the feminist ideology on sex and a woman’s reproductive rights.

    The end result is Black Matriarchy and Black Feminism. Black Matriarchy is “I don’t need no man” (to have a family). Black Feminism is quasi or ghetto feminism. The uneducated poor black women want the rights won by white feminist but refuse to accept the accountability and responsibility that comes with having 100% control of reproduction pre and post pregnancy. They want to have sex with who they want, when they want. Abort the kids they don’t want and then turn around and blame the black man “he shoulda used a condom” for the OTHER kids she decides to keep!!! smmfh 60% of never married black baby mamas have multiple baby daddies. White Feminist would roll their eyes or laugh in your face if you explained your pregnancy by saying the boy/man should have used a condom. lol Condoms are good for short term lookups and prevention of STD’s and that’s it. CONDOMS have never worked for any NATION nor race as an exclusive means of birth control. Yet black women are pushing this condoms only narrative and female contraceptives are optional/ not needed. We know it’s a lie. 50% black abortions and 72% illegitmacy confirms it’s a lie. Many of these same women have had an abortion(s) and have unplanned illegitimate kid(s). Yet these Black women want to discount or dismiss the emotional aspect of sex and expect teenagers and young adults to use a condom every time? Something they’ve been unable to do themselves. That is borderline child abuse. IMO I guess failure and misery love comfort. lol We know when trust is built and emotions and feelings are involved the condom is not used or not used as frequently. It’s just a fact of life. So, yes if you’re going to be sexually active, ALWAYS plan on using a condom but if you don’t want to get pregnant you better have a backup plan. If you don’t sooner or later you’re going to get pregnant and have to make the choice of an abortion or 9 months of pregnancy. Per doctors….. 2 options that are much riskier than female contraceptives. A Healthy young woman can get pregnant pretty quickly.

  • Chrissy

    Most Americans will have sex before marriage. Thus, most people do not wait and apparently this was true for the past too.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16287113/ns/health-sexual_health/t/even-grandma-had-premarital-sex-survey-finds/#.UP2cqnf_1Fc

  • Blue

    Not pass judgement? Easy for some to say. Well I was in the position at one point. Working without health insurance & having a hard time trying to get some. But sadly I had a miscarriage. After that I decided to make wiser choices for myself. I rather wait till I’m with the right guy (preferably my future husband), & be financially stable before I decide to have kids. Lesson learned the hard way. Keep this in mind, if the person you choose to sleep with is not someone you can see yourself having kids with, don’t have unprotected sex. If you can barely support yourself, don’t have unprotected sex. If you are so into your social life, career, school etc…don’t have unprotected sex. Use some sort of birth control. Besides out of all the places you can go get FREE condoms, why do people still end up knocked up? It’s not judgement, it’s called having sense.

  • Chrissy

    I agree with Tim. I just posted a web link that reports 9/10 Americans have premarital sex(it might be more) and the number was also high in the 50s. Hopefully they post my comment.

  • Chrissy

    I have a question for the people who say poor women should not have sex or children. I understand they way you all are thinking but if you look at poor countries those women still have children. Many people in the world are not living like most people in the U.S. so do you suggest no women ever have kids unless they can live a middle class life or something close to it?

    IMO, many people in America are living in some kind of la-la land about how the world works.

  • JN

    Maybe there are more Hispanic women who are simultaneously undocumented and have unplanned pregnancies? But then how do you account for all of the Black immigrants who came here and aren’t accounted for? I don’t know.

  • Starla

    They sell condoms at the dollar stores these days 12/$2. I even saw cheap pregnancy tests there ($2). The YMCA employment resource center that I used to go when I was unemployed were giving them away free. Poverty is no longer an excuse not to be sexually protected. I am not big on hormonal forms of birth control just because so many black women have problems with fibroids, but I remember back in my teen years friends used to go to the sexual health clinics and the pills were completely free up until the age of 24 and something like $2-4 if you were over that age. You could always get them free if you claimed poverty.

    Is Planned Parenthood the only source of cheap or free birth control options for females in the US? The abortion situation needs to be straigntened out, but Americans have so man ideals that I doubt it will ever get to a place where it wouldn’t be as described here, jumping through hoops of fire.

  • steff

    Im assuming that not one of you ladies has never had a friend who got pregnant or had a friend of a friend who did, or has never experienced a pregnancy scare? Just me? I really dont think so, Im so fed up with the “if you cant afford to have children then you shouldnt have children”. BULL****. Women have been experiencing unplanned and unintended pregnancies since time began. Its not out of the norm; what shouldnt be the norm is the lack of help women get when faced with this difficult situation. Im so greatful that where i live i get free contraception in any sexual health centre. Im also greatful that if a woman finds that she cannot afford to keep her baby or isnt in the right position to bring up a baby she can get an abortion for free. My heart hurts for those who may not have access to these services. Im not saying i agree with abortion, i just think every woman has the right to choose her own path in life and that we as a society should be there to support her in any way we can not by passing judgement.

  • http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2013/01/supreme-court-agrees-to-hear-baby-veronica-case.html kissofdanger

    Marriage isn’t encouraged for anyone in their early 20′s. It takes forever now and days just to get ahead. Especially if you’re poor. There is a serious lack of stability in this country.

  • Starla

    @ Lisss you’re perfectly right! But there is a large segment of married and cohabiting women who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy. I think it would be unrealistic to ask these women to practise abstinence or celibacy. Nobody ever talks about the married woman who needs abortion, but it happens a lot more often than people believe.

  • TT

    I understand that but abstinence isn’t as hard as people make it out to be. And I don’t think women should feel pressured to get married in their 20s. I think a lot of these teens have miseducation or no education about sex. Irresponsible young people have kids then these kids have kids etc. It’s just a never ending cycle. Not all teens are having sex. I think a lot of young people, male and female, feel pressured to be sexual active. Way back when, people didn’t have a plethora of contraceptive options and in some cases contraception was illegal, of course you would have rampant pregnancy. But condoms are everywhere and other birth control options are affordable so that excuse is unacceptable. Teens are going to have sex but pregnancy doesn’t need to be an outcome when there are options.

  • Let’s Ignore the Obvious

    The same reason why Black women have the highest OOW births, highest STD rates, highest Obesity rates, lowest Marriage rates, and raise a nation of Batty Boys, then turn around and complain about DL men: STUPIDITY.

    Of course I don’t expect any type of self-reflection and intellectual honesty on this. Most incredibly dense and immature thinkers tend to have a problem reconciling accountability, common sense, research and reality.

  • Opinionpolice

    where are my comments?????

  • camille

    I’m not familiar with the statistics, but I know that in my cohort of Black women with Master’s degrees and beyond, more of us than not hae had at least one abortion. I also know that most of the professional women I know have had an abortion.
    Sure, it’s not that difficult to avoid getting pregnant, or getting the flu, or getting a DUI, or a speeding ticket, but shit happens

  • http://melodymoose.deviantart.com/ Catpopstar

    I wonder about the situations that could lead to an unwanted pregnancy. Like what if the woman could not afford her bills so the boyfriend was paying them but the only way to keep him around was sex?

  • I got sense!

    Very true but they haven’t gotten rid if the entire organization. They are still here as we’ll as over the counter and just not having sex. No excuses and no sympathy from me on this topic.

  • victoria

    Actually, what does health insurance have to do with birth control? When I was single and in my 20s, women were only provided birth control for health reasons (heavy menstral cycle, pain during cycle, etc.) Have things changed and Im just out of the loop?

    I have to agree with most commentors replying to this particular comment. I dont believe being poor is an excuse for unwanted pregnancies. And I strongly agree with LemonNLime; each individual is responsible for their protection.

  • Ask_Me

    @WFM

    I said unplanned pregnancies were MORE LIKELY to come from Tameka from the hood…I didn’t say all unplanned pregnancies come from this group of women. Read and comprehend next time.

  • OH

    CR may be a troll and a (black) woman hater but on this issue it is correct. If you’ve picked up a newspaper in the past 2 decades, you’d know that black spending power is in the BILLIONS annually. Out of those BILLIONS a huge chunk of it relates to purchasing hair from another race of women, nail care, clothes, jewelry, entertainment etc. If those things aren’t disposable than I don’t know what would qualify.

  • Ask_Me

    Huh???

  • GMAFB

    Oooooh I see, it’s all a conspiracy!

    What everyone with 2 pairs of working eyes are seeing in the black community is all an illusion. RMFE

    The outrageous OOW rate is all made up.
    The 3rd world like STD rates ravaging black communities doesn’t exist because everyone knows the unprotected sex these men and women are having in order to create these OOW children
    couldn’t possibly lead to STDs

    When white privilege, white supremacy, and other anti personal responsibility buzz words can’t be worked into the conversation there’s always the standby tin foil conspiracy theory.

  • steff

    YES!

  • Damn

    Pre 1960′s almost every black kid had a father in the home.

    And this was when the stacks were really held up against us, smh.

  • ChaCha1

    I will never understand unplanned pregnancy (except in the case of rape, incest, and reproductive abuse aka sabotage by a sex partner). When I was uninsured and couldn’t take birth control pills, I got handfuls of condoms…at least 20 per visit for FREE at the city health clinic.

  • victoria

    Listen KR, Tim, Perspective, the Caribbean, and the other many names you use…

    I have to say, it’s so easy to identify you b/c you say the same thing over and over again. Not only on this site, but on madamenoire, as well. And you rambling is filled with such nonsense. Can you site some of these statistic and percentages?

    You are so bent on educating us ”misguided” black women; have you used this same energy to address your brothers.

    My advice to you is, get rid of the anger you have for black women. Im sure it weighs you down. Pray for peace. Seriously. It’s one thing to disagree with the way many people in our community conduct their lives. It’s another to be filled with such anger.

    Btw, where is your bulldog pic?

  • leelah

    the people who put out the margaret sanger and eugenics argument are pro life republican groups who are against abortion. The whole argument was designed to get black people to change their stance on abortion and the democratic party. Lets not pretend that the people who are for planned parenthood and reproductive health care are the same ones who came up with that eugenics campaign.

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    Um, ok. I didn’t say anything about a conspiracy theory. I like to be an informed consumer, and I was surprised to see how hard it was to come up with information about who owns this site.

    I never disputed any of the statistics presented in the article, so I think you are off-base with your assertions about what prompted my questions/comments.

  • TT

    Well said! But people will still choose to have unprotected sex knowing they don’t want a child or can’t afford to have one because they’re not thinking in the moment about the consequences.

  • KR

    Only Tim and KR. This site blocks comments some time which is the only reason I changed the screen name. I am not Perspective or anyone else. Although I agree with most of what perspective says.

    What exactly do you specifically disagree with?

  • mr.vicious

    The hair industry knows, about 8 billion a year.

  • KR

    But we know as fact not speculation that 50% of all black pregnancies are aborted. Which is outrageous! So what’s your point?

  • Pseudonym

    @Steff: Yep. I’ve had friends and friends of friends get pregnant and they all removed the wool from my eyes in believing that people have unintended pregnancies b/c the condom broke. 9.9999 times out of 10 there was no condom and there was no birth control. Just two people playing sexual Russian roulette and they lost.

  • Kacey

    I can not believe this debate people are having about the cost of birth control and condoms! I simply do not buy this argument that low income women are too and poor to afford either birth control or condoms.

    How much does having a baby cost? How much do diapers cost? How much does formula cost? How much does child care cost? When you compare the cost of all these necessities for a baby to the cost of birth control and condoms, what would you choose?

    The problem is that when poor make choices regarding contraception the rest of us end up footing the bill!

    It absolutely burns me up to see a woman pushing a Bugaboo stroller (which retails for around $1000) cashing-out WIC checks and food stamps. She and the baby are dressed to the nines and tens, and her hair is laid! I see this a lot in NYC (especially in the neighborhood where I grew up). How in the world was this mother able to afford all that yet can’t buy food for the child or herself?

    What I’ve come to realize is for the poor children often become economic assets, rather than the liabilities that most of us think of. Having that child enables many to qualify for benefits they ordinarily would not have as a healthy able-bodied young person. There are lots of people who know how to game the system and there is no incentive for them to do better.

  • The Revolution is going to be televised!!!!!!!!!

    Well, to eradicate this problem of unwanted children, first, women need to make men responsible; two, women need to own their own bodies and make their own decisions. and most important, woman-up like when we say man-up and control your own destiny.! Single parenting is ruining our society in every way!!!!! All children need BOTH parents!!!!!! Stop using abortion as a contraceptive and start using your gut. You know if a guy is gong to stick around or not. And most of all Dads, be DADS and take care and educate your daughters so they don’t have to contemplate abortion or sex in the first place!!!! Parents need to be there for their children. Please lets stop being half-assed households and start manning-up and nurturing our children in TWO-parent households!!!!!!!!

  • The Revolution is going to be televised!!!!!!!!!

    If you nurture and love your daughters and sons, they will not have the need to look for FAKE love in the street culminating in unwanted pregnancies!!! BE parents and handle your business!!!! It is just that simple!!!!!! Poverty or no!!!!!!!

  • binks

    Bingo! Sadly, I know a young lady now (she is 18) who just had her first baby 6 months ago to her boyfriend (who is 20) that has 2 other children under the age of 2 and another on the way by another young woman and he wants TWO more because he wants 6 children in total and his girlfriend is willing to give him the last two…mind you they BOTH still live at home with their parents, quit college/vocational school, not working but collecting governmental aid and basically doing nothing in their spare time to get themselves out of their situations or try to better their life for their kid(s) to get out of their situations meanwhile both grandmothers are turning their head to the sand because in most cases their kids repeated their lifestyle. At what point do we get to call foul on said individuals’ action and judge (Yes judge! Judging isn’t always a bad thing) on said detrimental behavior not only for them but the kids they are bringing into this environment? Sorry but the theme of “no judging/don’t judge” mantra has gotten us nowhere but with more problems and nobody willing to take personal responsibility and accountability for said problems or owning up to their OWN actions in the situation. If you don’t know that unprotected sex could result in a pregnancy you aren’t equip to handle or have to get an abortion, can’t education yourself on the viable forms and programs of birth control that can meet your needs or a kid you CAN NOT support when you can’t support yourself or get yourself out of the situation you are in currently then you shouldn’t be having unprotected sex…plain and simple. We can talk about these 1001 views and scenarios but until we address the pink elephant in the room of the current culture as folks mention before that we are ignoring and continuing to grow and getting passed on from one generation to another then we might as well waved the white flag in defeat.

  • The Revolution is going to be televised!!!!!!!!!

    How are poor women becoming the face of abortion when abortions cost money??? It is not cheap to attain an abortion so how are poor women able to attain abortions in the first place??? How can they afford it?? You must mean those Appalachan women in the mountains. This is not a black thing!!!

  • Rochelle

    I don’t know how true your comment is. Yes shit does happen but it happens too often. Im a balck woman with a masters and I have never been pregnant. Had lots of sex, but mostly took precaustions. I never had actual intercourse in high school partly becasue I went to a mostly jewish school so there were limited guys I was interested in or vice versa. I was also SCARED to DEATH about being a teen mom statistic. That was shameful in my mind. I guess I was a lucky one.

  • EST. 1986

    And, wouldn’t you know it – The Black church is almost 100% run by Black men.

  • EST. 1986

    “Yes, the solution is to simply not have sex. Why is this such a difficult thing to do?”

    You, yourself said that you were a virgin, so of course you would think simply not having sex is an option.

  • AnnT

    I’m mad you got thumbs down for identifying Danielle by her monicker…

  • I got sense!

    @kamile

    Born and raised and currently live in the south and I got birth control all ” willy nilly”. I didnt get my first car until i was 20 years oldand got on birth control when I was 17. Again, I was one of those poor women and so were my friends. These wowen, just like me, can get to the club, concert, movie, mall, grocery store, and hair salon without a car. You wanna know how? It’s called the B.U.S. and it runs daily. On top of that you can walk, ask a friend to drop you off or ask that guy who is trying to get in your pants to take you. Save that sh*t for someone who hasn’t be there and done that. If someone doesn’t have $15 to spare and they are an adult they shouldn’t be having sex. Why? Because sex isn’t a necessity but food is. So they can load videos on YouTube of themselves fighting but can’t google sex? Oh that’s right, they can they just don’t want to and despite how ignorant and mentally inept you are trying to make poor women in the south out to be, they know how babies are made and what condoms and birth control pills are so you can keep making excuses for irresponsible women but I won’t. I know too many of them who just don’t use birth control of any kind. This goes for poor, wealthy, uneducated and master degree having women. They get no sympathy from me whatsoever and as soon as there is a president, governor, or mayor that is ready to put an end to gross abuse of the welfare system I’m voting for him or her.
    Now that I think of it my great grand mother was born in 1908, married at 19 (her husband died in her 50s) and managed to only have ONE child, (my grandmother) so if being poor and uneducated was really as big of a problem as you think it is how did she manage that?

  • Lisss

    To simply say that abstinence-only programs do not work is to oversimplify the issue and miss the bigger picture. Once again, i refer to the quality of the programs. I was reading somewhere (I will try to find the source) that the abstinence-only programs under the Clinton era resulted in a decline of teen pregnancy while the abstinence-only programs under the Bush era did the opposite. The two administrations had the same goal but went about it in different manners which provided totally opposite results. Hence, my reference to the quality.
    Second, let us not pretend that the hypersexualization of this society has no bearing on the choice that people make with their sex lives, both adolescents and adults. The media is sending a strong and constant message to both genders that if they’re not having some type of sex, they’re out of the game and need to get with the program. I always use the example of the shampoo commercial with the moans and what sounded like a woman on the verge of orgasm. Sex seem to be needed to sell everything…including a bloody bottle of shampoo! A CyberSentinnel poll concluded that many adolescents spend almost 2 hours per week watching porn. I can’t think of one movie in the last decade (aside maybe from Passion of the Christ) that did not have sexual/erotic scene or one tv show that does not portray sex in one form or another. Point is, we are BOMBARDED with sex and then we act surprised at the consequences. Therefore, how can abtinence educational programs work when the child is being taught one thing at school/church/home and being slapped in the face with sex the minute she turn on the tv?

  • Pseudonym

    Can we get some reliable sources for these figures you’re throwing out?

  • camille

    So, we need to have more babies? What’s your point?

  • camille

    Surely you have a newsletter. I just learned so much about how I should be managing my genitalia. And also that I should say that I am EDUCATED from now on. Brilliance

  • Since1989

    abstinence/celibacy are very honorable but are also tied to judeo-christian views in a culture that is very anti-biblical, anti-christian these days. I also believe a culture of abstinence and celibacy would absolutely be effective if it wasn’t just promoted towards one gender, because that never works. If a woman waits to have sex she’s pious and virginal and angelic, if a man waits to have sex he’s less than a man. That sexist ideological system is what is screwing things up and it will never work.

    Also, you can’t demonize oow births and then turn around to demonize abortion… Just like these damn evil republicans who want to cut funding for women’s reproductive health care, cut funding to planned parenthood, deny insurance coverage for birth control, and then make it illegal to get an abortion, even for rape and incest, in the same state. No one should be put in a dead end.

  • Esthar

    condoms ain’t 100 percent effective you know. no contraceptive is. my sister got pregnant with a freaking iud inside her uterus.

  • http://Clutch SL

    @kacey – being poor is not it and the author of this article is insulting us all. We have a “culture” in our community that is driving this and affordable healthcare, PPH, more sex-education is not going to change that.

    With every culture comes a value system. Change the value system, change the behavior. When we start valuing education, self-improvement (and not at the governments expense), marriage, family, – then we’ll see those stats drop.

  • leelah

    but wasn’t it reported a couple years ago that black women have an average savings of $5.00? And are we talking about the same group of black women when we’re talking about buying the hair of other races? Most poor women, most middle class women, can’t afford real human hair, they’re wearing synthetic hair, not even 100% yak hair.–and who said that black women spend most of their income on beauty vs. rent?

  • leelah

    8 billion a year? Now you’re just making up numbers.

  • http://Clutch SL

    @Yvette – maybe it doesn’t work because the values that help it to work aren’t being taught properly or aren’t being taught at all. A person’s value system determines how they behave. To say don’t have sex and abstain purely from a physical standpoint does not work – but couple that message with faith and a belief in something greater, tied to something better, about being better and I’ve seen it work. Your values and what you believe is what drives your behavior – hands down and it does work with sex but you have to teach just like everything else – kids don’t value lots of things until we teach them to value it. Not just lip service.

  • http://Clutch SL

    Or at any age it seems these days -

  • Chillyroad

    I was 28 and childless when I had my fibroids removed and I didn’t have a history of long term use of hormonal birthcontrol. On the contrary if you have fibroids BC can save your life. I was severely anaemic, had three blood transfusions because I was constantly hemorrhaging during my period. When I was properly educated I learned that in the event of excessive bleeding you can take up to five BC pills and all but stop your period. That way you don’t lose large amounts of blood. Shortly after my surgery I never went anywhere without my BC.

  • Chillyroad

    It’s called survival sex. Usually with young women or girls and older men. It happens a lot but doesn’t account for the majority of these pregnancies. Most black women have these kids in their early 20s.

  • leelah

    you should probably start a serious exercise program, drink lots of water, and loose 20 pounds instead of relying on birth control pills. you could also help your condition by eating a vegan diet. in other words, educate yourself and take responsibility for your body.

  • ruggie

    That “half” number, from what I understand, is NOT the ratio of abortions to all pregnancies for African Americans; it’s the ratio of abortions to live births, not taking miscarriages and other factors into account. The abortion-to-overall pregnancy ratio is closer to 30 percent. Is that outrageous? If so why, and compared to what?

  • useless middle class

    The problem is that when poor make choices regarding contraception the rest of us end up footing the bill!

    Well we foot the bill for the million and billionaires who take a share of the total wealth available at any given time, that far exceeds what the poor cost society.

    So if we can afford to have people who “own” a poverty killing amount of wealth why can’t we afford the insignificant cost of at least feeding poor people and giving them free abortions and contraceptives?

    How do we reconcile extreme wealth, where some have more than they’ll ever need – forever, with extreme poverty that leaves millions starving?

    Doesn’t make sense to me.

    Indeed, the reason there are so many poor people is, the rich are so rich.

    If there are only 10 slices of bread to share between 10 people but 1 person takes 8 slices, that only leaves 2 slices for the other 9. Surely then, the 9 can’t afford the gargantuan costs of the 1.

    But people like you would look “down” and say we can’t afford the poorest of the 9.

    The wealth the rich enjoy isn’t something they create out of thin air to make themselves rich. Their wealth comes from the same place poor people’s poverty comes from.

    A plantation owner can only be rich because he takes a far bigger share of what the land can yield from the productivity of those he enslaves.

    The “Slaves” are footing the bill for their exploiters wealth.

    If he divided the produce of the plantation EQUALLY among those who did the work, he would not be richer than they are. Thus No one would be rich and no one would be poor.

    If the plantation owner lived a thousand life times he could never amass the wealth he enjoys in this life, by his own hand – neither through “hard work” “brains” or “ingenuity”. Only by theft of his victims labor and their impoverishment.

    That’s our system in a nutshell.

    We can’t afford RICH PEOPLE

  • Chillyroad

    @Est 1986

    No! The Jewish synagogue and the Muslim mosque and the Catholic church are 100% male run. We know the black church is far more gender egalitarian than the rest. They don’t even have female Imans or Rabbis or Priest but a bunch of female ordained ministers, bishops deacons etc.. In fact black women have more leadership roles in the black church than any other women have in other religious institutions. What’s the excuse now?

  • KR

    This is pure garbage. What in the hell does this have to do with black illegitimacy where you now have 4 generations of women who have never really worked, their kids with a 50% dropout rate and their who are literally terrorizing the black community? You’ve got kids in third world counties without toilets and running water academically outperforming these kids.

    It’s not the money being spent it’s the money being WAISTED. I think most would gladly support a welfare system that works. Support a system that enabled the overwhelming majority of kids to become productive and successful even if it didn’t get the parents off welfare. Detroit (like evey ghetto school system in this country) spends a BILLION dollars a year for aprox 83k students with a 50% dropout rate. Does that make sense? Is this worth fighting for?

  • Wanda

    See, The Pill was SUPPOSED to “free” us all so we could express our real sexual selves on the regular. In fact, every hour if we could get some.

    We were SUPPOSED to enjoy healthy and active sex lives like the worst dog-of-a-man.

    Marriage was just for squares and sellouts. It was all about doing what felt “good.”

    At least, that’s what they told us…

    Yeah, right.

  • Chillyroad

    Do people get welfare for DUI and speeding tickets? Lastly know chooses to get the flu but people choose to speed, drive drunk and get knocked up. SMDH!

  • Chillyroad

    @leelah

    Do you know anything about my medical profile? Past and present? Please go to medical school and become my primary care probider or my OBGYN before you dispense with health advice. How completely irresponsible of you.

  • Wanda

    I know that it is not popular to say, but I’ve seen the sort of women and men we produced when we had majority two-parent households (The Civil Rights generation and before), and I’ve seen the sort of women and men that we now raise during the Baby Mama/Baby Daddy/Single Mother Households period, and there is no comparison. Things are far worse today.

    The loss of community happened when too many of us bought into the whole “superwoman/I can do it all” mythology.

  • Chillyroad

    There is a parallel between the black church and the black family. Black family is 100% run by women and is now defunct. The black church is seeing more and more female influence and is corrupt and decadent. A correlation perhaps?

  • Wanda

    I would also like to see the Asian-American female rates.

  • Diana

    My parents have said the same thing to me when I was younger and I listened. I feel as if lots of people underestimate the power of involvement….

  • Yvette

    Yes, and a lot of black families were on welfare as well. One of the requirements? That a man not live in the home, meaning that a lot of families were split up by their own government.

  • Yvette

    @SL – Churches teach the so-called values behind abstaining from sex. Church kids are included in the studies which show abstinence doesn’t work. In fact, most of the time it’s faith-based organizations that RUN abstinence programs.

    I’m not following your logic.

  • Yvette

    Yes, I agree that our sexualized society plays a part in kids having sex. Doesn’t it make sense though that while we’re working on changing the way media sexualizes everything to protect our kids from pregnancy and STD’s. To do otherwise is sticking our heads in the sand.

    Here’s another statistic: Mississippi has the highest oow birthrate in the nation. Sex education is banned in Mississippi schools. Do you seriously think there’s no connection??

  • ChaCha1

    Yes, yes, we all know that. There’s always that story of someone–or their cousin, sister, friend, friend of a friend–who got pregnant even with some form of birth control. However, that does not account for such a high rate of unplanned pregnancies.

    Condoms combined with another form of BC if possible, and better yet, abstinence. Masturbation while not for everyone might work for a lot of people.

  • http://Clutch SL

    @Yvette – contrary to popular belief, what the church teaches is secondary to what a parent teaches. Churches can try and help but to be honest by the time most kids are taken to church they’ve already been imbued with a belief system they ‘ve learned from home. It’s real hard to tell a kid to abstain if their own birth occurred outside of marriage or if the adults around them have compromised themselves and not lived in this way. The church tries to help correct these incorrect beliefs, but that teaching is best established first at home. Hope that helps.

  • Chelley5483

    Nope. Leelah that number is definitely Not made up. Between 8 and 9 billion. Factual information. The reason why black women, as you say, have $5 in their savings account is sadly because black women rather put it on their backs.

    Oh and I work for a government rental assistance program. I currently have a caseload of approximately 450 clients. I see the income they’re bringing into the household, not much. Yet I also see Louis Vuitton Speedy bags, colored contacts, synthetic and yaki hair, $100(+) jeans along with bank accounts in the red, used cars with outrageous interest rates due to poor credit, I could go on but I won’t. Our black community is known for blowing the little money we have on worthless crap. Equaling PLENTY of disposable income.

  • Cocochanel31

    Pseudonym

    I think in a lot of black communities (especially poorer ones), men impregnating women and not strongly co-parenting their kids and women making babies with those men is acceptable and considered normal behavior

    THIS!! Exactly! It has become the norm rather than the exception! In my hood in Bed Stuy it’s almost a rite of passage to have a baby out of wedlock! Many of these women are looking for love in allll the wrong places and think having a baby, by WHOEVER, will fill that void. Many of these women have nothing else to live for and this is their LIFE! It is a vicious cycle that I see play out even in my own family, and for the life of me I don’t understand why people have not one, but two , three and four babies without a pot to piss in!! It saddens and angers me , because the children are the ones to suffer for mommy’s and daddy’s gross negligence in the end!!

    I also cannot stand to see GRANDMOTHERS having to raise MULTIPLE children by their irresponsible children! It’s reprehensible!! smh. Wake up BLACK PEOPLE!!

    I do understand that PP may not be everywhere, but latex IS!! All of my family in the hood manages to have money for alcohol and weed but somehow cannot manage to use rubbers I am sooo confused!

  • TT

    I do agree that there are sexist ideals that society puts on women and men. There are many people who know they don’t have contraception but still have sex and take a chance, then get shocked if pregnancy or std occurs. I’m saying if you or your man doesn’t have protection, there’s no sex. I don’t believe abstinence is as hard as people make it out to be. But If you’re going to have sex, realize the possible consequences. There is a problem of no education or miseducation about sex. I am pro-choice but abortion shouldn’t be used as birth control. As another commenter said, abortion is not cheap so how are so many poor people getting them? There are no excuses in my eyes or at least the poor excuse; contraception is easily available and affordable.

  • TT

    We are supposed to enjoy healthy sex lives with proper protection. But a lot of people take chances and don’t use protection or birth control. But society is still judemental and conservative in sexual views. I have no problem with people having lot of sex but just know the consequences if you don’t use contraception. I don’t believe marriage is necessary or the right choice for everyone. But women still get pressured to do so.

  • YeahRight2011

    I’m pro-choice. The last thing we need is more unwanted kids than we have how. The only people who’d really grieve for fetus removed is the mother and possibly the father anyway. The rest of us don’t really care about abortion all like that. The facade of concern nauseating.

    One thing I know for a fact is that woman who don’t want children don’t have children, raped or not. We women know how babies are made and that kids cost money, adding an additional strain on already limited resources. So I’m inclined to believe that preaching birth control and abstinence is stupid since these women clearly wanted these kids for whatever reason and access to healthcare isn’t the problem.

  • come one people

    My only issue with the statistics above are that they don’t account for those that had unplanned pregnancies and had the circumstances to keep their children. Only, one of my parents children were planned and there were married for 3 years before they had children. The statistics don’t have anything to do with the article in my opinion.

  • geekmommarants

    Reality knocks. We live in a society where 40 year olds are new mothers. This is NOT natural.

    Most women according to the World Heath Organization are 18 years when they have children. We know our bodies have a time frame for pregnancy.

    Who gets benefits in this country? College-bound childless women NO! If someone needs housing, insurance and even job-training they need to “have a child” change this, change the culture.

  • http://gravatar.com/ceecollegegal CeeCee

    I think its sad, especially in the 21st century, that there are so many black women with unplanned pregnancies. Women should not have sex with men that do not want to use condoms. If a woman is going to have sex then she should be on birth control. I am speaking directly to women because a man does not have to carry a baby for 9 months.

    To be honest, if you are uneducated and unemployed then you should not be having sex at all. Instead, you should be focusing on ways to better yourself as a individual, sign up for some classes and get a job so that you can start building a career. I do not understand why any young woman would want to be lugging a baby around with no one but “grandma” to support them. It is not hard to prevent unplanned pregnancies; I have never been pregnant. If you are using birth control pills and condoms then there should be no unintended pregnancies.

  • useless middle class

    @er

    You’ve got kids in third world counties without toilets and running water academically outperforming these kids.

    Typical divide and rule tactic of diverting attention away from the greed of the rich by setting poor people against poor people.

    The only thing your irrelevance about poor people in the Developing World proves is that there are poor people everywhere.

    But just so you know – there are poor people in america who outperform other poor people in america.

    There are poor people in america who ALSO outperform privileged people in america.

    So what? What’s your point?

    Far too many, if not most people, are poor.and that’s because a few have too much.

    If the poor in the Developing World are so much more capable than the poor in America then why are they poor in their own countries but able to improve their condition somewhat when they emigrate to places like america?

    If you’re on $2 a month in Uganda, a mere minimum wage job in America is 300% increase in earnings -

    so – garbage yourself.

    Fool

  • Wanda

    “Society is still judgmental and conservative in sexual views”?

    Which society are you talking about?

    The Baby Mama/Baby Daddy society that now makes up the majority of our community, and has to rely on teachers, principals and social workers – not wives/mothers and husbands/fathers, to raise our children?

  • leelah

    Then if that number is real, can someone please post a link, a study, something. One commenter claims its $8 billion, but the next commenter co signs that number by raising it a whole billion more. Much of this talk tends to spiral down into the typical welfare mother stereotypes. suddenly people have a clear insight into the home and financial health of the poor. All poor black women are on welfare. Every welfare recipient is driving around in a lexus, with expensive hair and clothes(u people ever heard of the swap meet?).—when we dive into stereotypes we gloss over the problem and the discussion stays on the surface.–poor people are so burdened by stereotypes that when people see you with something a little bit nice they think you don’t have a right to it. It reminds me of the black homeless man with the cell phone at a soup kitchen michelle obama volunteered. The media went crazy over the idea that he had such a lavish item despite the fact that a phone is a necessity now and a concerned family member bought it for him so they could keep tabs on him. –Clutch is trying but I don’t think they should post articles like this without some serious analysis. They’re doing the same thing to the black body we accuse the mainstream media of doing. The statistics are meaningless, just the kindling needed to get people fuming at the mouths, patting themselves on their backs for their outstanding morals and superior intellect. We never get to the reasons why without an expert or an actual poor woman who can explain the statistics.

  • leelah

    lol…just getting between your legs with a little knowledge. I didn’t think you would mind since you’re all over this post between other women’s legs. But seriously, doctors are paid for quick solutions to problems. They gave you a solution and you ran with it, unconcerned that your quick fix will result in other problems down the line. But I’m not an OBGYN so you should probably do your own research on birth control and estrogen, infertility, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer.–And get off the couch because movement is the best cure for fibroids. Or am I just making assumptions about your life?

  • Chelley5483

    Unfortunately, I’m not sure “access” is the issue here. In America we have access to free education. Yet the African American community still has a large percentage of drop outs every year. It seems to me that people in low income communities are only driven by resources that are immediately/absolutely needed, i.e. food/WIC, child care, housing, cash. The end. Point blank, period. Health care? If they’re able to walk/talk they will not seek out health care until someone has say a stroke, then it becomes immediate and absolute. Need it now.

    Same goes for education. In the hood, no one chastises the high school dropout/minimum wage earner until the realization hits that the income is not sustainable and it’s up to that individual to make the necessary changes. That’s when the fire’s been put-to-ass and the urge to sign up for Adult Education (accessible program, there from day one) becomes urgent as a mofo.

    Leading me up to the sex issue..

    Contrary to popular belief, a sexually active adult knows the repercussions of unprotected sex, regardless of class. MOST also are aware of programs to assist with prevention of diseases/ unplanned pregnancy. Usually it’s the case that the issue is not urgent to protect themselves in the heat of the moment, hence no initiative to utilize prevention programs. My work has opened my eyes to the fact that there is an abundance of people of low economic means whose main problem comes down to something so simple: lack of preparation, the feeling of powerless over their future, and little regard for the notion that current behavior directly determines future consequences. Out of sight -completely out of mind, tunnel vision, extreme need for instant gratification – call it what you may if it’s not affecting them today, it’s not foreseeable and there’s no urgent need to access that particular resource.

    Solutions, I’m all about them. My thinking is that in ninth grade, before most drop out, teach accountability classes. Accountability in what? Personal finances, self -reliance/esteem/awareness, real-life problem solving, etc. To hell with calculus, unless that is something that a particular student thrives in. Take it way back to the basics. That way no child can really be left behind, waiting to get knocked up multiple times and feeling entitled to tax-payer funded programs. Make them aware of their personal power as opposed to pacifying grown people to death with programs that are always there to help after the f-up has already been done.

    Lack of access, not the issue. I wish someone would stop making it someone else’s fault outside of their own. LACK OF PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY, this will forever be the issue.

  • Chelley5483

    @ Binks..

    “At what point do we get to call foul on said individuals’ action and judge (Yes judge! Judging isn’t always a bad thing) on said detrimental behavior not only for them but the kids they are bringing into this environment? Sorry but the theme of “no judging/don’t judge” mantra has gotten us nowhere but with more problems and nobody willing to take personal responsibility and accountability for said problems or owning up to their OWN actions in the situation.”

    I couldn’t have said this any better. Looking back, I WISH I experienced more judgement in regards to my behavior. Judgement is absolutely necessary. For too long we’ve accepted b.s. as the norm. You’re so right. It’s time to stop be so accepting of stupidity.

    Having unprotected sex, teenage pregnancy, dropping out of high school, having more children to increase food stamp/cash benefits, getting locked up, etc. is deviant behavior that should not be considered “normal”. Come on black people.

  • Chillyroad

    @SMH

    There is something not right about Miss. “I ain’t neva met a man who wasn’t a rapist ” and her comments. Pathologically man hating.

  • YeahRight2011

    Not in my county. Adult residents with no dependents who qualify by income get food and housing/housing assistance, healthcare, and health insurance. There are 4 non-family, non-senior towers and more mixed communities. You don’t have to have a baby, a disability, or be over 55 either. Plenty of new citizens, students, veterans, and low income singles qualify. Most people don’t know about benefits they qualify for because they don’t bother to look into it. That is so lazy.

  • http://www.geekmommarants GeekMommaRants

    I live in the US you do not. Lucky one!!

  • LadyP

    It does appear as if women are choosing to have children now more so than taking precautionary measures. The only unplanned pregnancies is which I am aware of are married women in their 40’s. They didn’t prepare because it was believed their child rearing days were over. I believe with birth control and condoms being easily accessible and reasonable, pregnancies are preventable. And all of the solutions in which you listed.

    Great comment!

  • http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2013/01/supreme-court-agrees-to-hear-baby-veronica-case.html kissofdanger

    I just wanted to say that not all poor women are in the same exact predicament. Just becuase one woman in the ghetto is living ghetto fabulous doesn’t mean that all poor women are acting that way. There are lot’s of poor women in school who don’t have boyfriends and sugar daddies. There are poor women who are completely on their own with no help and support from anyone. There are poor women who come from dysfunction. There are poor women who are constantly homeless, or moving from place to place. There are poor women on the street or on the verge of homelessness, and can’t get into shelters becuase they are full. Women with children get priority. There is a serious lack of access to transportation in not so urban areas. There are too many situations that poor women are in that make their lack of access amplified. I have driven someone to get an abortion becuase no one would do it for them. I have also went to the health dept. and grabbed free condoms for my friends. I had to give my niece the talk becuase my sis wouldn’t do it. Alot of these situations intersect.

    We label women for having sex which is natural. People should be more responsible and abstinent. There is nothing wrong with being abstinent but don’t judge others if they aren’t. There is nothing wrong with having sex but don’t judge other who choose to wait. (“You just can’t get a man.” “You’re too fat.” “You don’t take care of your self.” “You’re a prude.” are all the things I have heard) Birth control should be free and accessible to anyone who wants to use it. Getting your hands on the pill can be pretty tricky.

  • KR

    Huh? Do you know what you’re talking about? It’s insulting to compare the abject poverty of Third World kids to the poverty of poor kids in America. It’s not the same. Poor folks in this country have multiple tv’s, shoes, clean clothes, running water, electricity and of course FOOD! So much food that there’s an obesity problem with many families on welfare. Most on welfare also eat meat daily. These are basic things in this country. Capitalism did that. Yes, capitalism is a flawed economic system. I just don’t know of an economic system that works better IN THE REAL WORLD. Do You?

    I’m not trying to divide anything. I just don’t think it’s acceptable to spend billions of dollars for a 50% dropout rate (failure). Poor kids in this country are suppose to outperform poor kids in third world countries. They have more resources. We can’t complain about rich kids (as a group) from better school districts outperforming poor kids and then dismiss the failures of black kids (as a group) in this country compared to kids in third world countries.

  • http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2013/01/supreme-court-agrees-to-hear-baby-veronica-case.html kissofdanger

    @Geekmommarants

    That was my experience in college! I had to drop out in the middle of the recession becuase I couldn’t get no help. I tried going back to school but the living expenses and working was too much. I couldn’t get any foodstamps or medicaid. I was hungry, tired, and broke all the time. There are NO programs to help single poor women, or homeless shelters in my areas for women without children. No wonder girls move in with their boyfriends. We punish women for doing it on their own. I swear the system is rigged.

  • Courtney**

    Thank you for this. A lot of the comments, much to my horror, smack of classism and demonizing the poor (and demonstrate a complete lack of empathy for poor women as human beings). Someone needs to say this because the “woman with the expensive weave and 5 kids, nails done, dressed to the nines on WIC and all other government assistance) seems to be becoming the new “welfare queen” trope. And it sickens me that we are peddling this towards our own sisters.

    I don’t know why sides of this “discussion” always have to be so one-sided or black-and-white. Either you think all poor women are completely responsible for their own failures and it’s a culture of blame OR you are completely excusing them and enabling them to reproduce without any repercussions. Either all women know how to get pregnant but because black women are genuinely stupider than all other races of women (TRUE COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE) we choose not to take precautions, OR we are just trapped in a cycle of poverty and low self esteem so we are willing to do anything for a chance to feel loved.

    Why can’t we acknowledge both the situational factors that contribute to these circumstances AND personal responsibility? I am genuinely baffled by so many’s inability to present a nuanced position. I think that we teach what we know. And most people are average. I think in order to escape the circumstances of your family and community without any outside help, you have to be extraordinary – which most people aren’t, because most people are ORDINARY. People of all races and classes have unwanted pregnancies. People of means can afford to handle them quietly without contributing to statistics. People who can’t either need government assistance or they have the kid. If you live in a society where having a kid young without being married is the norm, why, exactly, would you be expected to hold a different standard?

    Why are there so many unwanted pregnancies? There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer, regardless of how many have attempted to do so. For those with the self-esteem and resolve to say “no way Jose” each and every time a potential partner attempted to have sex without a condom, congrats. What may seem like “common sense” to you actually doesn’t come as easy to many victims of sexual abuse (of which black women ARE disproportionately overrepresented). Girls growing up in households without a positive, supportive, encouraging, healthy adult male figure do often seek it in other ways. And if they are surrounded by other peers in the same situation as themselves… and living in a community with boys who also grow up in the same dysfunctional circumstances… it can and does seem ordinary to become sexually active to feel loved, and “if you really loved him,” you’d trust him.

    Others still neglect to account for the fact that young or old, poor or wealthy, women are STILL SEXUAL BEINGS. “Save it for marriage” is essentially a lifetime of being a virgin, if we are to believe the stats about black women and marriage. So good luck with that route.

    And yes, there are certainly women who simply do not care if they can afford to have kids, will have them anyway and be supported by the government dole. But lets please NOT pretend like these are the overwhelming majority of poor black women who experience unplanned pregnancies, because that shit is seriously insulting.

    Most unwanted pregnancies happen between couples who know how pregnancy happens. And a fraction of those still happened despite birth control (be it hormonal, barrier method, or otherwise). We are never going to erase the drive to have sex and if black women are not easily able to find someone to marry, abstinence only education clearly isn’t a viable solution. I do believe that the solution lies in changing the culture but not by attaching the “stigma” back to unplanned/unmarried/teen pregnancy… because you are still going to be competing against a heavy media onslaught saying otherwise. And still, shit does happen despite birth control so continuing to blame and ostracize a woman (because let’s be real, no one ever put scarlet letters on men) for something that has already happened seems not only misogynistic, but asinine. We have to be mentoring both young women and young men about respecting each other as sexual beings and caring about how their actions affect each other. Girls/women should not be viewed as sperm receptacles or vehicles to masturbate with. A young man’s worth should not hinge upon how many women he’s slept with, but how much he has achieved for himself and progress he has made toward life goals that contribute to a stable society and community (be it marriage, educationally, financially, home ownership, or just being self-sufficient). In a culture where both genders see a common goal and work independently and together toward that goal, I think the obstacles to accomplishing those goals (unprotected sex, drugs, dropping out of high school, gangs, etc) would naturally decrease and eventually fall by the wayside. The history of black women and men in America has usually provided some sort of impetus or natural goal to fight toward – be it ending slavery, Jim Crow, or achieving civil rights. With those goals accomplished, we need to again create and emphasize common goals to work toward to improve the health of our community. Poor womens’ unplanned pregnancies are but a symptom of this lack of focus and cohesive community and I don’t think we can “solve” this symptom without focusing on the overall disease.

  • EST. 1986

    “And, wouldn’t you know it – The Black church is almost 100% run by Black men.”

    Did you notice that I said almost?

  • YeahRight2011

    That wasn’t a typo. I said COUNTY, like inside of a state. Ugh, no wonder you think you have to have a baby to get assistance.

  • useless middle class

    @kr-uurrr

    ” It’s insulting to compare the abject poverty of Third World kids to the poverty of poor kids in America. It’s not the same.”

    I agree, but please remember who went there first –

    “You’ve got kids in third world counties without toilets and running water academically outperforming these kids.”

    Typical dozy moron, so dense and high on the fumes of your own bigotries that you can’t even follow the trail of bullsh*t you leave back to its point of origin.

    I’m done with you – you’re fragile, which makes you easy to hurt and I don’t hurt weaker people than me.

    Now git.

  • KR

    lol…….. feminine little man. Your logic is very idealistic and basic. When challanged it can’t even stand against simple common sense.

  • I got sense!

    Idealistic nonsense. Lets get back to the land of reality and know that people will do what they do. Let them be held responsible for their actions. Last time I checked being poor doesn’t make you uneducated, pregnant, or a high school drop out. Those are choices made by people who are doing what they want to do. I don’t give a damn about who is or isn’t married when the have a kid. My concern is for who can be a good parent to their children. That means taking care of all their needs and providing a safe environment for them whether they are married or not. Children born inside of wedlock are not automatically better off in the short or long run.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Right Chelley! But do you notice people use the “don’t judge”line on behavior that wouldn’t normally be acceptable. I notice people love to say that when certain behaviors and lifestyle warrant judgement. I am so sick and tired of people trying to normalize dysfunction but want to complain about how nobody is addressing the needs of said results of behaviors/actions. You can’t have it both ways here!

  • Courtney**

    “Last time I checked being poor doesn’t make you uneducated, pregnant, or a high school drop out.”

    Good thing I never said that it did.

    “Those are choices made by people who are doing what they want to do.”

    No shit? And I suppose all of our choices are made completely in a vacuum, completely unrelated to and influenced by our environment and upbringing and in no way shape or form impacted by the world around us. I guess we need to tell Boys/Girls Club, Scouts, and any kind of mentor everywhere what they’re doing is pointless because kids are just going to do what they do anyway. Right?

    “I don’t give a damn about who is or isn’t married when the have a kid. My concern is for who can be a good parent to their children.”

    So it sounds like we’re really on the same page. Not sure exactly what your issue is with what I said.

    “Children born inside of wedlock are not automatically better off in the short or long run.”

    Again, I never stated anywhere that marriage is a cure-all for what ails us.

  • Keepitreal

    OMG yes accountability class is needed because obviously none is being taught to this generation! Quick OT, thank you to the poster who mentioned it!!! I’m working on a community program for black girls and had a vision (yes folks a vision) of teaching a course on civic and personal responsibility so I am taking this as a sign to ignore my pessimistic family and carry on.

    Anyway, fitting this should be my last comment on Clutch seeing that I was banned on my laptop. Apparently, male trolls who denigrate BW daily are ok and self hating BW who attack others relentlessly are peachy keen as well–Shout out to Icyroad BTW

    I guess this is what happens when you keep it too real lol

    Thanks all (read, some of you) for some good discussions !

  • http://gravatar.com/vma100 vma100

    You said it all. Thank you.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    conservative? most countries see american women as extremely easy and loose.lol

    the problem is that too many people have the misconception(ahaha conception) that contraceptives are magic force fields. you can STILL get pregnant and stds even with condoms.

    marriage is encouraged because at least you’ll be with someone willing to be there for you if you get pregnant. rather than “omg who is the father?” and when you get to the father of the baby he wants nothing to do with you because he never even cared about you in the first place. he just wanted to get in your pants.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    i think we need to promote master bay shun

    (i know how to really spell it but i don’t want my comment going into moderation lol)

    you CAN live without having sex. it’s called a toy! i’d rather people promote that than promoting one night stands, hook ups, and friends with benefits. it may feel good but it’s hurting our society.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    thank you! i’ve BEEN saying that we need to stop requiring all these english classes (where you learn the same thing every year from middle school til your senior year) and require life skills class. it’s sad when kids are going to college and can’t make anything but extremely unhealthy cup o noodles all day long.

    like i said on another comment. i say we start promoting “self play” that way you feel pleasured but there REALLY aren’t any consequences.lol you get the urges out of your system without possibly ruining people’s lives.

    now that is something that women and young girls need to stop being so conservative about.

  • Chelley5483

    Leelah, we’ve done our research, please take the time to do the research yourself in regards to the hair care industry. I say that with the utmost respect, Leelah. Let’s even get drop the figures and look closely at what your closest family members, fellow black members in your community spend money on, it becomes evident. I hope one day black people would stop yelling out, “Oh that’s just a stereotype!,” every time another person makes a critical observation on the black race. It has coddled us, kept us insulated from serious and much needed growth. No not all black women who are poor are on welfare. Not all welfare recipients are driving around in expensive cars.

    Leelah, I’ll give you a brief synopsis on myself as I am the “poster child” of stereotypes. My mom, pregnant at 15, 18 and 21 (I was the last child) by three different men. Grew up marginally poor, constantly evicted, always sleeping on someone’s floor, been to 14 different schools between CT and MD. My older sister, pregnant at 15, dropped out, directly to welfare/ low wage jobs. Me? The follower, the baby, pregnant at 16, kid’s father immediately went to prison for 9 years when my daughter was 2 weeks old. Enter me in the system/ low paying jobs/ drop out. Until… I got fed up, went back to school and did something with myself. It didn’t have to be that hard for me though but I thought I was doing the “normal thing.” The bottom line is there was a better and easier way to get to where I am now.

    The problem is NO ONE told me I was wrong! No one held me accountable until I got fed up and held myself accountable. I hold my daughter, now 12, accountable for all behavior because what I did was not normal, nothing to glorify or pacify, it was the most irresponsible thing I’d ever done. I have expectations of the young people in my family, primarily because no one expected anything out of me and it did nothing for me.

    Not all women have made the choices I have, but if we really open our eyes and stop defending irresponsible behavior when it comes to our finances, our bodies, parenting skills, education, etc. we’d come out on top. Like I said, in my work, I’m knee-deep in information from my clients that let’s me know that the same ideals and behaviors that are deteriorating their quality of life and the lives of their children are what they stand up for and think is right because they weren’t told that there’s better way. No one says tells them it’s messed up, people keep their mouths closed and just supply them the resources needed help them cope with mistake after mistake. Just like I thought growing up. This is backward as hell and no Leelah I’m not making a blanket statement and speaking for all poor people.

    I’ve never been one to gloss over any problem. I am of no higher moral character than anyone of lower economic means. I had to fight like hell to attain a more productive mindset though, still fighting. I’m quick to hold myself and others accountable though in the name of growth. There are times when stereotypes are underrated.

    And yup, call me what you want. I will always have a problem with someone walking around wearing a depreciable item that could pay for a few semesters of school books for them or their children when their ready for college. Backward @ss thinking… White, African American, Asian, Hispanic… It’s not a good decision.

  • http://gravatar.com/vma100 vma100

    Chelley5483, I salute you, and wish you all continued success. Hold the reins on your daughter. I balked at my parents keeping a tight rein on me, but it kept me from getting pregnant out of wedlock and making other detrimental choices. And you’re right, we’re so busy excusing everyone, when it is time for judgment, time to say that yes, some behaviors are wrong, so stop it. Wishing you all the best in life. Stay strong and keep being a role model to our community.

  • http://Clutch SL

    @Chelley5483 – outstanding post!

    @Leelah – you are asking for the link, did you ever think to do your own research? That is the difference between you and Chelley5483…we want you to own your on awareness – you have the means or you wouldn’t be posting. However, I will help you but really you have all you need to help yourself – stop expecting others to do it for you.

    I googled the phrase: “overall spending power of African Americans” and found the “2010 “Buying Power” report shows black consumers spend as economy improves”. The report says that in 2009 black spending on Personal Care Products and Services was 7.4 BILLION dollars! Now, that was 3-4 years ago so as commodities have increased in price across the board, it would be right to estimate that today we spend between 8 and 9 BILLION dollars on weaves, perms, fake eyelashes, fake nails, manis and pedis and anything else that would fall in this category. In contrast, in 2009, we spent a mere 321 MILLION on books. Eye opening isn’t it – yet we claim we don’t have access to services – that’s BS. We have access to what we want to have access to.

    Btw, the link to above mentioned report is http://www.targetmarketnews.com/storyid11011001.htm

  • Chelley5483

    Wow thanks vma100, means a lot that you took time out of your day to shout me out. I salute your parents, they did it right. People seem to lack the understanding that when you have high expectations of children and adults alike, it makes for more better decision makers. Babying and making excuses for people, young and old, is an insult to anyone’s intelligence.

    Wishing you the very best as well…

  • Since1989

    @ leelah I definitely cosign your comments about poor people and the aesthetic the world thinks they should have. I guess the thought process behind it is in order for the poor to garner any kind of sympathy, help, or support they need to be clothed in rags and smell like feces. If you look any sort of decent then you are not really poor, but you know that is not really the case. A cell phone, a means of communication is very much so a necessity.

    People love shouting from their rooftops about welfare queens and the tax payers dime when quite frankly, less than a fraction actually goes towards welfare. The majority of tax payer’s dimes are going to the military, social security, bank bailouts and corporate welfare. No one cares when the rich manipulate the system to keep themselves rich and more rich, but we love demeaning poor people for being poor, despite not knowing each and every single poor person’s story, we love to pass harsh judgement.

    Americans will always be paying taxes no matter what. So screaming about your tax money going to quaneisha in the hood with 5 kids(inflated stereotype), and not screaming when tax payer money is being used to bail out JP Morgan and Chase and friends just shows the hypocrisy of the matter.

  • GoldenSunshine

    I agree with Chillyroad on this one. There is a culture among the poor that keeps them poor. People need to start learning more about their bodies and how to work with them instead of working against their bodies. Lower income people eat processed food containing all sorts of chemicals that aren’t good for them. I almost laugh about the fact that its called processed “food” because if you look at whats in it, it’s not even food.

    This mentality obviously has carried over into not just the way they eat but their reproductive health too. Most don’t even know all the various ways they can get pregnant and end up falling prey to somebody feeding them false information (whether intentionally or on purpose) that ends up with them getting pregnant or with an STD or even both! Priorities need to change and fast if this is ever going to change. Your money should be invested into your health first, then worry about clothes, cars, etc.

  • GoldenSunshine

    I think you are missing the point that it’s a vicious cycle that all points back to education. In these communities, education is usually substandard. I’m not making up excuses because there are things that can be done. We have celebrities that came from these same communities that can donate to education and help to change this. This is also something that can be done by the people living in these communities as well but they will all have to get together and do it for it to be effective and unfortunately, alot of them don’t believe that other people will join in.

  • Chelley5483

    @ SL thanks, you knocked it out the park..

    “We have access to what we want to have access to.”

    Precisely..

    It all comes down to what our priorities are.

  • GoldenSunshine

    No, I think this has become an overly sexualized society and young children are being fed these images through television, radio, billboard and retail advertising. Just look at the way the media has changed and you’ll have your answer. People saying that parenting should trump the media are absolutely correct. But in order for that to happen you would have to cut off alot of these media sources and many people aren’t educated enough to see the benefit in doing that. Most of this can be done by first getting rid of the television. Television has ruined ALL of our lives. Nothing but a constant propaganda machine.

  • Serene

    Thank You! Classism at its finest. For middle class people and above have all sorts of resources at their disposal and in close distant: hospitals, malls, police stations, transportation, shopping centers, libraries, etc.

  • http://theblackgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ kissofdanger

    I have so much more to add. I would be soo long winded. I forgot to mention children who have to work through high school or are helping support the family. With all the stress that poverty brings guess what you’re gonna do? (Hint: it’s free) Have SEX! Or do drugs.

    Another thing we are telling black women to do is wait to get educated. That is pretty tricky becuase when you are poor, and in community college. you need to find a way to pay your bills. You need some transportation so you finance a car. So you live on your own or stay at home and help mom pay the bills with a job. Either way something happens eventually or your job gives you waaay too many hours or not enough and it ends up in total disaster. You go through something hard, and fail your classes. Or something happens in your family situation. However, your grades slip, and you lose that financial aid, and scholarship you worked soo hard for. It all goes down the drain. you are stressed out to the max becuase the bills are piling up. Your car got repoed, and the community bus which runs for only 12 hours a day only comes by every hour. Financial Aid is even harder to get back now then it was then. So now you you have to deal with you situation at home, if you still have one, and deal with you school situation. You have to pay for your own classes to get your grades back up and now community college credits are about $100 dollars a piece. Guess what. You’re fcked and now have entered a cycle of going to school on and off. So by the time you finish getting your bachelors or masters you are OLD. You haven’t even gotten to enjoy yourself yet, and get it out of your system becuase you had to wait to enjoy the things that everyone else takes for granted. That internal clock is ticking LOUD, and men are less likely to date you becuase you are older, and black. Now you have to find a good job, keep it, fix your credit, save up for a home, and get married which is not easy. By the time that you are done doing these things you may not be able to have children. The older you get the harder it gets, and that’s exactly what they want. You are stressed, overworked, taxed, and if you are strong then somewhere inside of you is lacking. We emotionally, physically, and psychologically have to borrow from Peter to pay Paul. No wonder we are so diseased. The system is rigged both ways especially for the girls who do the RIGHT thing, and that is what scares me.

    I said in an earlier post that I’m not surprised women live their boyfriends becuase living is expensive, and men make more regardless of how hard they work. So women are left to be dependent on men or their parents for help. A lot of poorer single women don’t have that option.

    Like I said the system is rigged. So how long should you wait before you have sex again? And children?

  • Perspective

    I had to come out the shadows for this one – I mean DAMN – just DAMN.

    1)
    Please take note of the fact that the reds have a considerable amount of + thumbs up, which means the number of women who actually agreed with the comment. Factor in the number of men who roam the site and would agree with the blue comments – we’re looking at about a 50/50 spread when it comes to the women on this topic.

    I also have to comment on two main things that contradict everything many uber black feminist and female empowerment, women are equal to men proponents claim. Here is the link to the piece http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2013/01/pro-choice-anti-choice-how-about-no-choice-poor-women-are-becoming-the-face-of-abortion/comment-page-5/#comments

    I tI thought that black women were kicking ass all over the place and shooting past black men by leaps and bounds, now we get into the discussion about single mothers and suddenly reality hits.

    “If you’re poor and a woman, you likely don’t have health insurance. Birth control is expensive. You also probably have a hard time getting time off for doctor visits (that you also can’t afford), because your service job won’t allow it. You’d go to Planned Parenthood for reduced birth control, but that’s if there’s one near you, if you have access to transportation, if you can take the time off.”

    “How did you get pregnant? Maybe it was a long-time boyfriend. Maybe it was the father of your child, your husband, or a one-night stand. No matter who it was, you have your reasons why you can’t be pregnant. But if you were lucky and found you were pregnant early, you should be able to get an abortion … if you can afford it.”

    Yesterday black women were going to the moon and back – today, being that this is on a black female forum, these women only work service jobs and may not have cars, a statement that is made later on in the blog. This is contradiction number #1.

    2) The second issue, and this one is disgustingly blatant, seen from the eyes of a man who is just sick and tired of the egregious duplicity of women. Here Danielle C. Belton states -

    “But instead, we have a system that doesn’t help women make better reproductive choices. It leaves them trapped in them.”

    Who is making women sound like children now? “Help women make better choices!” Whoa! Last time I checked I thought women were in control of their own destinies? I thought they were perfectly capable of making their own decisions, under their own cognizants, without the holding of hands by society or men. In other words, without cheap birth control, and intervention of the state, black women and other poor minority women are completely incapable of regulating their own reproduction. Unprotected fornication is just one of those risky acts of life that are similar to just breathing. No foresight, critical thinking skills, or planning needed. If you get pregnant as a women, “Hey, it just happened to you, like a car accident,” and it’s societies job to bail you out.

    Yea… like I said, women have no business in the driver seat when it comes to many things, ESPECIALLY the direction of the community because TOO MANY are completely unaccountable and will fall behind being a woman, as their defense, the first chance they get. This is why I don’t support arguments of women’s equality to men. I could logically and philosophically stand behind women and their fight for total equality if women would abandon female privilege and embrace the responsibilities and accountability that accompany exercising the capacity of their own agency.

  • http://theblackgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ kissofdanger

    I have so much more to add. I would be soo long winded. I forgot to mention children who have to work through high school or are helping support the family. With all the stress that poverty brings guess what you’re gonna do? (Hint: it’s free) Have SEX! Or do drugs.

    Another thing we are telling black women to do is wait to get educated. That is pretty tricky becuase when you are poor, and in community college. you need to find a way to pay your bills. You need some transportation so you finance a car. So you live on your own or stay at home and help mom pay the bills with a job. Either way something happens eventually or your job gives you waaay too many hours or not enough and it ends up in total disaster. You go through something hard, and fail your classes. Or something happens in your family situation. However, your grades slip, and you lose that financial aid, and scholarship you worked soo hard for. It all goes down the drain. you are stressed out to the max becuase the bills are piling up. Your car got repoed, and the community bus which runs for only 12 hours a day only comes by every hour. Financial Aid is even harder to get back now then it was then. So now you you have to deal with you situation at home, if you still have one, and deal with you school situation. You have to pay for your own classes to get your grades back up and now community college credits are about $100 dollars a piece. Guess what. You’re fcked and now have entered a cycle of going to school on and off. So by the time you finish getting your bachelors or masters you are OLD. You haven’t even gotten to enjoy yourself yet, and get it out of your system becuase you had to wait to enjoy the things that everyone else takes for granted. That internal clock is ticking LOUD, and men are less likely to date you becuase you are older, and black. Now you have to find a good job, keep it, fix your credit, save up for a home, and get married which is not easy. By the time that you are done doing these things you may not be able to have children. The older you get the harder it gets, and that’s exactly what they want. You are stressed, overworked, taxed, and if you are strong then somewhere inside of you is lacking. We emotionally, physically, and psychologically have to borrow from Peter to pay Paul. No wonder we are so diseased. The system is rigged both ways especially for the girls who do the RIGHT thing, and that is what scares me.

    I said in an earlier post that I’m not surprised women live their boyfriends becuase living is expensive, and men make more regardless of how hard they work. So women are left to be dependent on men or their parents for help. A lot of poorer single women don’t have that option. For those who do have that option have to deal with their boyfriends holding that over their heads.

    Like I said the system is rigged. So how long should you wait before you have sex again? And children?

  • Perspective

    “if you cant afford to have children then you shouldnt have children”. BULL****. Women have been experiencing unplanned and unintended pregnancies since time began. Its not out of the norm; what shouldnt be the norm is the lack of help women get when faced with this difficult situation.”

    Notice how having a baby – DESPITE having the resources to take care of the child or not – IS JUST NATURAL FOR WOMEN TO DO. Also take note of the fact that she’s looking for SOME TYPE OF INTERVENTION to come in and rescue her out of her situation. Notice the ENTITLEMENT. As a rule, black men do NOT think this way because – there is no safety-net for us. Shit, once you catch a felony, you are pretty much denied all help – (which is insane – e.g. Recidivism).

    Unfortunately, this rolls directly into what I said about many black women not making wise choices when it comes to choosing the man/father of their child – because in their mind, something in this system (THAT WE DON’T CONTROL) is set up to save her, so choosing a man based on his qualifications becomes a superfluous aspect. There is practically no difference between getting with an off-point or on-point man, with women who think like this. If she gets pregnant by a man who is unfit to lead, meet financial obligations, or father the children and teach them anything – THAT’S JUST A NORMAL NATURAL OCCURRENCE OF LIFE. This “NATURALNESS” of events that I keep hearing black women throw up is a red flag for me as to why when it comes to COMMUNITY ISSUES, especially when you want to talk about economically going up against other races of men, black women are unfit to lead and be in the driver seat IN THAT REGARD! We have no time for CARE BEAR, FLUFFY UNICORN, FEEL GOOD STUFF, and what I find is that black women bring what makes them ‘feel good’ by making excuses for MISTAKES rather than just owning them and their participation in those mistakes, more than black men.

  • Perspective

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I know brothas that are just as bad, who believe that their African King status means anything in reference to combating flowing and working capital in other communities that we lack. I know men who place INTRINSIC SWAG above actually being able to do something because they are IN THE PROPER POSITION. They have the arrogance of being in the position based on intrinsic value rather than actually having the knowledge and resources to affect change.

    Unfortunately, women can grab on these ‘naturalness’ concepts and apply it to their womanhood and their NATURAL way of being. Men can not do this. We are supposed to be leaders, and contrive plans that work effectively. WE ARE FORCED to come up with solutions that work, because if they don’t, OUR MANHOOD IS AT STAKE. Women on the other hand can apply metaphysics, nature arguments, spirituality, and motherhood/ ‘a woman’s touch.’ If they fail they can just blame it on the idea of – “WELL SHE HAD TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE BECAUSE A MAN WASN’T THERE,” despite her ideas being dumb and not well thought out. There is no recourse of action nor redress when women take the controls and fail miserably because they can always claim, that it’s not their natural position to be the head, and that she’s only the head because a man, somewhere was weak. What infuriates me about this is the fact that just 5 minutes prior she was fighting you over the steering wheel, telling you about how sexist it is that YOU WON’T LET HER DRIVE, or she has the matriarchal attitude that the head is a woman’s NATURAL PLACE. If you think that gives you license to charge her with the responsibility, you are wrong.

    “if you cant afford to have children then you shouldnt have children”. BULL****.

    So what’s the alternative – JUST HAVE THE KIDS ANYWAY AND BRING THEM INTO A F’D UP SITUATION!?!

  • Perspective

    Oh please believe, this pathological mindset spills directly into other areas when you want to start talking about a man making moves in the community and telling a woman that now is not the time to have babies or now is not the time for other things. What I find is that many black people have a severe issues with delayed gratification, especially when it comes to black women and their interaction with black men because they are not used to seeing black men set anything up. If a woman comes across enough men who aren’t trying to establish anything and exercise discipline themselves, she’s not going to look to black men as an authority figure on ANYTHING. Due to this perception our direction or suggestions don’t carry much weight with them. This is where much of the – “Well I’m just going to do what I want, regardless!” As I have stated numerous times, many women are avoiding men who ARE qualified and in the proper position to not be dismissed, because either way, they just don’t want to be told what to do, period. Black male authority doesn’t come with any benefits in their minds, (not foreseeable ones), it’s just him trying to control, dictate, and be the controller simply for the sake of controlling.

    I have more – but I’ll ket it to myself – it was entirely too easy to go IN on this foolishness some of these women want to call – INTELLIGENT DIALOGUE.

  • http://Clutch SL

    @ Perspective – I am with you! You brought it home exactly where it needs to be. Ladies recognize!

  • http://cupofjo-jo.blogspot.com bk chick

    Yes! This was the realest comment. Most people do some serious moral posturing when it comes to abortion.

  • lol

    best comment!

  • http://gravatar.com/cocovabarbie KemaVA

    The real issue is black mothers only teaching their daughters about saying no. Teach them what to do when they dont want to say no. Put them on birth control. Yes many people refrain from having sex. However many more dont. Thats what we need to prepare for.

  • Dw

    These women are insane for thumbs down perspective. Like seriously what is their solution when they are the very ones F ing up. smdh.

  • Old TImer

    Thats the political ideology blk women support. Killing you by the millions. Hell they convince you to PAY for them to kill your babies! Keep hiding behind “choice” and “its my body,” “its my right.” Its not YOUR body! Its half of him and half of you! A totally new and unique being! Hitler went about it the wrong way, forget gassing, shooting, and burning them, just use the handy dandy Overton Window technique to get them to kill their own children. You women are so worried about Trayvon when thousands of Trayvon’s were killed that same damn day! Use a freaking condom, IUD, the pill, or GOD FORBID, abstinence!

  • Old TImer

    Whats wrong with saying no? Quit making excuses for being a lame parent, and not conveying good values. “Oh she gonna do it anyway…” Bullchit! This isn’t a game, this is your child about to do something stupid and then possibly murder another human being because you let some politician convince them that its ok. Quit pawning off your responsibilities on to the government, or you’ll wake up one day to find yourselves extinct. Wheres all the “strong black women” I hear about so much, clearly they are dropping the ball and accepting this libertine society like they have to. No one is forcing them to have sex and it doesn’t have to be “thats how it is nowadays.” Blacks are STILL followers in the grand scheme of things, with nothing but some stupid hairstyle unique to them. Everything is else is told to them by other groups, what to wear, what to read, where to live, where to work, what to watch, who to vote for, what are blacks scared of? #ms_unique you are not unique you are a hodgepodge of other peoples ideas with not so much as a dignified defense of your own unborn children.

  • useless black middle class

    Dude I tried to read thru your posts but they were boring as f*ck and I couldn’t find anywhere you made a POINT.

    Next time you’ve got allota nothing to say make it shorter.

    Sheesh!

    What a f*cknut.

  • http://gravatar.com/pocketsizednegro Courtney**

    What the hell do you mean, “these women?” Didn’t you get the latest Misogynist Monthly? It’s “these FEMALES.” And you’re welcome.

  • http://gravatar.com/pocketsizednegro Courtney**

    Yeah this comment makes sense. Because married couples never use birth control.

    ….

    Are you fucking serious? With 19 thumbs up and no one realized how stupid your assertion is. What the holy hell.

  • princessevilina

    The attack on the poor and womens reproductive health in particular has been under relentless attack for a good decade now and every day they come up with some new angle of assault. Right now the push to make aborting your rapists baby a crime for “tampering with evidence” is in full swing. I hope every woman and every man who supports a womans right to be free of this tyranny is paying attention. If we get caught slipping even for an instant, we’re through. First it’ll be erasure of womens right’s and then they’ll feel emboldened to come after labor rights even harder than they already have.The citizens will be subjects if they have their way, subject to their rule, begging for a crust of bread at the gates after a day of working the fields. They really do miss “The good old days”.

  • Worldly

    That’s the reality. Teens WILL have sex, period. Some will not. We’re mammals, hormones will rage and instincts will take over.

    There is nothing wrong with having a proper discussion with our children about sex. This includes the biology surrounding it as well as the emotions such as the facts and risks of having sex (STIs, and pregnancy), And we can stress how abstinence is the ultimate protection from these things.

    However, we MUST also provide them with the proper information to protect themselves in case they fall prey to their hormonal, animal instincts. There is nothing wrong with that. We are educating them to be responsible being. And people need to be rational when discussing this issue. There is the theory that abstinence works and then there is practice. Time and time again the practicality of abstinence only education falls short.

    Regarding reproductive rights, it’s a woman’s body and she should have full autonomy to it. We don’t know the stories behind women getting abortions, they don’t all provide that information, nor should they. It’s a personal matter. I believe in practicing responsibility, and many women who do get abortions are doing just that. Just because many have moral opinions about it, doesn’t mean they should dictate how she handles her business. It bothers me that legislators are trying to limit the help poor women rely on for these procedures. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. And yes, shit happens, condoms can and do break, and birth control does fails (especially if you’re on antibiotics and don’t realize the effects on BCPs).

    This issue isn’t just Black and White, there is a lot of grey area in between which includes personal responsibility and external chronic forces.

  • I got sense!

    Gotta give it to you, I completely agree. The only reality is that privileges will not end for males or females, blacks or whites, Americans or non-Americans. To get rid of all privileges would be great but alas, it will never happen. I am, however, all for responsibility and accountability.

  • I got sense!

    They can give you thumbs down all day long but it doesn’t change the fact that you make some VERY GOOD points.

  • I got sense!

    You are partially correct. The child within HER BODY is 50/50 of them but it can not become a person without HER BODY. This is why this debate will never end. All the responsibility is on one person of the two because only one of the two can actually bring forth life.

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