Monday, December 17, 2007

Red Velvet Footsteps

"The United States still holds the dubious distinction of having the highest teen pregnancy rate among the most developed nations," Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement.

"Congress should put the right foot forward and immediately stop funding for dangerous abstinence-only programs that deny young people information about how to prevent pregnancy, protect their health and make responsible decisions."

Births to unmarried girls and women reached their highest levels in 2006 since the government began tracking such statistics in 1940, Ventura said.

Unmarried girls and women accounted for 38.5 percent of all U.S. births last year, up from 36.9 percent in 2005. Among blacks, they accounted for 70.7 percent of births. Among Hispanics, it was 49.9 percent and among whites 26.6 percent.

----- When I was younger unwed mothers were considered the product of dysfunctional lower class families, or had low self-esteem, or lacked moral character, or all of the above. The unwed pregnancy rates for Black America was 23 percent in 1960; today at 70.7 percent, do you still have to ask why we're worse off socially and economically?

Abstinence-only is not going to work, but neither has sex-ed with birth control pills and colorful condoms from the free clinic, or schools.

Personally - I lean conservative on the issue. I believe children need mom and dad, preferably married to one another. I believe if young girls (and boys) were better educated and respected in home and in society we would see fewer dysfunctional marriages, less illegitimacy, fewer abandoned and abused children, less domestic violence, less crime, less social misery.

According to Rickie Solinger's book, WAKE UP LITTLE SUSIE Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v. Wade, ... "In 1950, only 1.7 percent of white babies were born to unmarried women, compared with 16.8 percent of black babies, or 10 times the figure. But by 1989 ... the respective rates for the races had risen to 16.1 percent and 66 percent. While two-thirds of black births now occur outside of wedlock, the accompanying fact is that the proportion of black births has declined from 10 to 4 times that for whites. Indeed, the white rate is now where the black figure was 40 years ago."

I supported Planned Parenthood Federation of America for years but now consider them a failed organization - in business for 90 years, PPFA is not exactly a poster child for success - not if "planned parenthood, sexual health, and sexual education" are the goals as there are more STDs, more unplanned pregnancies, less responsibility for reproductive decisions, and folks are dumber than ever about it all.

When I think of planned pregnancies I imagine a pregnancy planned by 2 adults, married to one another, who have the means and maturity to start a family - not by high schoolers or single shacked-up folks (euphemistically known as cohabiting) who think they're ready to commit a lifetime to a child but not to one another legally - no matter how successfully it's been done by Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.

Unwed pregnancy, deny it or not, most often perpetuates poverty and dysfunction. If mamma is/was married and a doctor or lawyer, more likely her children will marry, and enter medicine or law. If unwed mamma is clerking for minimum wage, it's likely her children will clerk and choose single parenting. Look around, most children follow in parent footsteps.

We can pretend all these unwed parents, with sufficient government funding and social support, will somehow produce a generation of educated, productive, happy adults - but we know the majority will never have the boots to pull themselves up by the straps. Behavior, like it or not, is generational.

Juggle the stats and find social gurus and doctorates who will spout it's about freedom - it still won't give single mamma a high paying job or give the kids a loving daddy. And like it or not, we females are the ones who must take responsibility to reverse the situation (simply because a hard dick has no conscience).

But - excluding a few rich celebrities - how many of the ruling class participate in the social trend of unwed parenthood? How many of the powerful, the political; how many old monied and new monied sons and daughters are unmarried, unemployed, uneducated and having babies? Not 70.7 percent, not 49.9, not 26.6. How many urban socialites or corporate executives are flocking to join the unwed parenting club? How many young sons and daughters of the social-shaping media moguls choose unwed parenting? Not 70.7 percent, not 49.9, not 26.6. How many appear on Jerry Springer to test the DNA of a dozen men, including their neighbors, best friend's husband, their cousin and still not know who's the daddy?

A little shame is not always a bad thing. It might be the voice of the conscience - reminding us to think long and hard about the consequences of our conduct.

Is it intentional that government policy and morality as defined by the media have led the commoners to willingly lower their commitment to hearth and home - have the lower classes been manipulated to romanticize behavior once thought shameful and disgraceful - and call it freedom - even if it's class slavery.

I gotta ask, if unwed parenting, often accompanied by serial sexual partners, is so romantic and trendy, so acceptable and doable - why hasn't the ruling class participated more?

Shame, shame on the Bush twins for not getting pregnant and abandoning education to work at the nursing home and do a class to become a CNA so they can make a dollar more and have their weave and acrylic nails done and go clubbing every weekend looking for the next love of their life. And maybe buy the kids a red velvet outfit at Christmas.

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