Author Topic: The Black community's birth control blind spot  (Read 3167 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

  • Landlord
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 10033
    • View Profile
The Black community's birth control blind spot
« on: May 12, 2010, 05:19:27 pm »
from THE LOOP:

The Black community's birth control blind spot
 Why is getting Black Americans to use birth control still a challenge?
By: Keli Goff
Mon, 05/10/2010

Why aren't Black women popping the pill?In a twist of irony, Sunday not only marked Mother’s Day, but the Golden Anniversary of one of the most popular forms of birth control in history: the pill. (If we’re being honest here, I am sure that there are more than a few out there who owe this fifty year-old form of contraception almost as much gratitude as dear old mom, for making the lives we lead possible in a whole different way, if you get my meaning.)

Yet fifty years after “the pill” was supposed to completely revolutionize how we approach sexual health and family planning, it hasn’t, at least not entirely. According to the Wall Street Journal, today nearly half of all pregnancies remain unplanned. Additionally, while I’ve written extensively about the fact that AIDS is the leading cause of death of young black women, one topic I haven’t written about quite as much is the rise in out of wedlock births among black Americans. Though data shows that there remains a strong correlation between single motherhood and poverty, more than two-thirds of Black children are currently born to single mothers. Any way you slice it, there seems to be a whole lot of people within the Black community, who aren't using any form of birth control. The question is why?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that as incarceration rates among Black men have risen, the expectation of young Black women to have a man around as a life and parental partner, has decreased. Another theory put forth by one young, Black single mother living with AIDS and featured in the film The Other City, is that poor women who are financially dependant on a man are less likely to push for condom use, while birth control in general becomes an afterthought, particularly among those in abusive relationships. But certainly these two scenarios don’t tell the whole story.

While pondering this “riddle” (as the Wall Street Journal has dubbed the disconnect between the longevity of the pill and its apparent lack of reach), I was reminded of the words of one of the interview subjects for my book Party Crashing on the changing politics of Black voters who said the following:

“Our concept of human sexuality [is] very conservative and not good, which [is] why we have a whole lot of teen pregnancy, why the AIDS epidemic is so prevalent in the African American community, why STDs are completely out of control. We have a terrible concept of how we are approaching human sexuality, and we are approaching human sexuality from what we think the Bible teaches, and that’s just not healthy."

If you think that these sound like the words of some extremely liberal, lefty, preaching the gospel of free love, you’d be half right, emphasis on half. These are indeed the words of a preacher, Pastor Dennis Meredith of Atlanta’s Tabernacle Baptist Church.

Maybe Pastor Meredith’s on to something. If Black churches can embrace the prosperity gospel and inform members about practical necessities like eliminating credit card debt, then maybe it’s time more pastors started discussing the pill from the pulpit. Maybe that’s one way to finally solve the birth control blind spot riddle, at least in our community.

Keli Goff is a political blogger for TheLoop21.com. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book Party Crashing: How the Hip-Hop Generation Declared Political Independence (Basic Books, March 2008). She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and previously served as an editorial contributor to RushmoreDrive.com. Keli can be seen regularly on national news programs including Anderson Cooper 360, The CBS Early Show, Lou Dobbs and BET.

 

Offline Hypestyle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 5964
  • Intellectual Conqueror
    • View Profile
    • Hypestyle's Homebase
Re: The Black community's birth control blind spot
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010, 10:33:59 am »
interesting.. can women/girls get a 'sample' at health clinics? do they otherwise have to get a prescription? Can minors get them?  how young?
Be Kind to Someone Today.

Offline Cheirel

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 863
    • View Profile
Re: The Black community's birth control blind spot
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2010, 03:20:27 pm »
interesting.. can women/girls get a 'sample' at health clinics? do they otherwise have to get a prescription? Can minors get them?  how young?

Yes teens can get free birth control. It is even offered at some schools. But that is not the problem. It is all the misconceptions that is goes along with using a safe method. Plus with with the morning after pill available at the local pharmacy people like to use that because that think that easy and if that doesn't work there is always the non-surgical abortion which the young girls love.