June 20, 2014 |
WHEN IT COMES to movies about unplanned pregnancies, ultraliberal Hollywood is surprisingly squeamish on the subject of abortion. The most famous example of this is "Knocked Up," about a gorgeous and with-it single woman who decides to go forward with her one-night-stand pregnancy, even though it means trying to make a suitable mate out of unemployed potbellied pothead pornographer Seth Rogen. Alternatives were not considered. The word abortion was not mentioned - one character describes a procedure to terminate the pregnancy as something that rhymes with "smashmortion.
January 16, 2014 |
WELL, WELL, WELL. Who knew that "16 and Pregnant," the hit MTV show about knocked-up girls and the boys who got them that way, would be of value to society? And not in that guilty pleasure, "OMG, what's the deal with Maci this week?!" kind of way. A new study shows that the 5-year-old reality fest (which birthed the high-angst "Teen Mom" spin-off series) prevented more than 20,000 births to teens in 2010. The authors of the study, published Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, analyzed a combo of Nielsen ratings, birth records, Google searches and Twitter messages to arrive at their findings, which reviewers have concluded are solid.
August 17, 2012 |
FOR A PROLIFIC author like Beth Kephart who has published 14 books (and counting), it would appear odd that her latest young-adult novel, Small Damages , took 10 years to complete. Kephart had the setting and most of her characters early, but she didn't know what the tension was. She felt that no problem she came up with was good enough or strong enough - until she discovered Kenzie, the pregnant college-bound teenager who became the focus of the book. During the period she worked on the novel, Kephart met a number of extraordinary young women who taught her a lot about young motherhood and whose characters and stories impressed her. "I was led toward Kenzie through those friendships," she said.
April 17, 2011
Johnny Hunter, a black preacher who opposes abortion rights, was in Washington this month to join a protest against federal funding for Planned Parenthood. He stood behind a sign that read: "Planned Parenthood has killed more African Americans than the KKK. " Hunter is among Roe v. Wade 's die-hard opponents - single-minded activists for whom nothing is more important than repealing a woman's right to choose. While other voters worry about jobs, health insurance, and college loans, Hunter and like-minded reactionaries focus on reproductive rights.
January 5, 2011
THE NATION'S teen-pregnancy rate is at its lowest level in decades. But don't toss condoms into the air in celebration just yet. Although we're faring a whole lot better than in the past, the U.S. teen-pregnancy rate remains embarrassingly high compared with that of many European countries. And here's another reason to be ashamed: MTV deserves credit for the drop. Not to take anything away from federal de-funding of abinstence-only sex education and improved safe-sex campaigns, but the cable network that introduced us to Snooki of "Jersey Shore" fame and the misogynistic term "grenade," has done a lot to raise awareness about the pitfalls of teen pregnancy.
January 3, 2008 |
I begin this new year with greater hope for our culture. That is saying something, given our pop culture's violence, gratuitous coarseness, hyper-commercialism, and obsession with sex and celebrity. I can sympathize with parents who are increasingly tempted to gather their children and retreat to the catacombs. But don't head down there just yet. This last year saw something that we should take heart in. No, it wasn't the American public's stout rejection of a slew of anti-American "war on terror" movies such as Redacted and Rendition.
November 25, 2007 |
In America, about one in five pregnancies end in abortion, according to the latest figures from the Guttmacher Institute. In recent American movies, however, every unplanned pregnancy is carried to term. From Knocked Up to Waitress to Juno, opening Dec. 14, abortion is The Great Unmentionable, euphemized as "shmashmortion" (Knocked Up), "we don't perform, uh, -" (Waitress), and "nipped it in the bud" (Juno), comedies in which pregnancy is the situation. Abortion is likewise obliquely referenced, if actually considered, in the drama Bella, now in theaters.
November 25, 2007 |
In America, about one in five pregnancies end in abortion, according to the latest figures from the Guttmacher Institute. In recent American movies, however, every unplanned pregnancy is carried to term. From Knocked Up to Waitress to Juno , opening Dec. 14, abortion is The Great Unmentionable, euphemized as "shmashmortion" ( Knocked Up ), "we don't perform, uh, -" ( Waitress ), and "nipped it in the bud" ( Juno ), comedies in which pregnancy is the situation.
November 20, 2007 |
"Mind the gap" signs on Amtrak trains warn riders to be wary when they step off a train. We should likewise post "mind the gap" warnings in many of America's schools - alerting students, parents and the public to the very real hazard posed by the huge, and growing, reality gap in U.S. sex education. Just how cavernous is the gap between the scientific evidence and our sex-education policies? Several authoritative studies released this year show compellingly that there is no evidence base to support the massive federal investment in abstinence-only-until-marriage sex-education programs.