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 1, 1992 |
For almost two years now my husband and I have been able to store the alarm clock because each morning we are awakened by the rhythmic chatter and gleeful squeals of our baby son. These are precious reminders of our parenthood - a life role we enjoy because of adoption. About 50,000 children, half of them healthy infants, are adopted in the United States each year. That may sound like a lot unless you know that as many as one million couples desire to start or to add to their families through adoption.
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.
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.
October 26, 2006 |
The recent decision by the Food and Drug Administration to allow women 18 and older to buy the emergency contraceptive Plan B without a prescription is welcome news. But Plan B alone will not be enough to overcome our nation's stalled progress in reducing unintended pregnancy and the need for abortion. The latest data on abortion, published by the Guttmacher Institute in early August, should make no one happy: A decades-long decline in the U.S. abortion rate is stalling out. In each year from 2000 to 2003, the abortion rate (the number of abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age)
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.
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.
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.