Archive for October, 2010


President Obama recently announced the start of a new $110 million campaign that will fund programs that teach teenagers about the risks of specific sexual activity and the benefits of contraception.  Just last month, the Department of Health and Human Services awarded $75 million to 75 groups to try to reproduce some of the 28 programs deemed to have been “proven effective through rigorous evaluation.”   Then, DHHS awarded $35 million to 40 groups to test “innovative strategies” that appeared promising.

At the same time, however, in a political balancing act, the Administration also awarded twelve grants for about $9.3 million for abstinence-only programs!  What the heck?   For example, the Live the Life Ministries of


Tallahassee received $891,533 for its abstinence program!   In Kansas, the “Women’s Clinic” received over $1 million and it is a crisis pregnancy center which tries to lure women in seeking abortions in the hopes of talking them out of their decision.

Of course, organizations that support abstinence only programs are disappointed that they did not receive more money.   Too bad, I say.

As for President Obama tossing some money to these groups, I say – again – “what the heck?”

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When a woman suddenly finds herself pregnant, she has three options:  give birth, have the child and give the baby up for adoption or have an abortion.  Everyone knows that these are the three “choices.”

As a person who is pro-choice, I don’t care which option the woman chooses.  It’s entirely up to her.  I have no preference.   But, of course, there is a small biased, for obvious reasons, towards giving birth to a beautiful baby.  That’s totally fine and I wish that every baby was healthy and wanted and has a wonderful life.

But we must be clear that childbirth comes with its down sides as well.  And this is the point being made by the American Academy of Pediatrics which has just issued a report saying that pediatricians should “routinely” screen new mothers for depression.  They add that depression isn’t just bad for mothers, but it could also harm their babies.

The Academy says that every year more than 400,000 babies are born to depressed women.  Estimates say that 5% to 25% of women develop postpartum depression and they

Postpartum Depression

recommend that severely depressed women be referred to experts for treatment.  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended similar screening earlier this year.

No “choice” is perfect.

Every “choice” is different and unique.

Every woman should do the research and make the right decision for herself.

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Teen Pregnancy

I am not going to take a lot of your time today, but I just need to convey this thought.

I’m normally not into statistics.  I grow bored very quickly when I start to see a lot of numbers on a piece of paper.  I also know that numbers can be manipulated to fit anyone’s agenda.    Still, I ran across some numbers lately that I can’t stop thinking about.

A recent report found that the rate at which teenagers are having babies varies significantly from state to state and from race to race.

According to the report, Arkansas led the nation in 2008 with 61.8 births per 1,000 girls aged 15-19.  Why am I not surprised?    I don’t have the entire report in front of me but I would not be shocked if Mississippi and Alabama were not far behind Arkansas.

Pregnancy Rates

Meanwhile, in 2007, the birth rate among Hispanic teens was 81.6 per 1,000, which is nearly TRIPLE the rate for white teenagers.  I guess we have the good ole Catholic Church to thank for that one, huh?

When are people going to get their heads out of their butts?

Are we some kind of Third World nation?

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Abortion Pill

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the introduction of RU-486, otherwise known as the “abortion pill.”

When the pill was introduced in the United States, it was heralded as a product that would incite a “social revolution.”  Advocates noted how it would allow women to have abortions in the privacy of their own homes.  They opined that it would allow women to avoid clinics that were surrounded by anti-abortion protestors and how doctors who never performed abortions would come out of the woodwork because it was much easier than a surgical abortion.  Within the world of the abortion providers, there actually was fear that with all of these new doctors, they would be put out of business.

Things didn’t necessarily work out that way.

The first thing that happened was that the company that made the pill decided to charge a lot of money for it.  That meant that the clinics had to charge women a lot as well and the price was usually more than a surgical abortion.  Then, women quickly discovered that it was not as simple as just popping one pill.  It was actually a few pills and, thus, a few visits to the clinic.  Finally, there was the fact that having an “abortion” at home was not necessarily the right thing for some women.  That’s because there were some who, when they expelled the fetus in their toilet bowl, simply freaked out.  While all they were seeing was blood and tissue, their imagination got the best of them.  Thus, the clinics soon discovered that it took a little more counseling than a surgical abortion.

All in all, we did not see a “social revolution,” as it was predicted by the

Abortion Pill

New York Times.  The abortion pill because just another option that some women could exercise.  The numbers of women using the pill did not increase dramatically as some had predicted (or, as the investors wished).

Recently, there has been a new development in the distribution of the pill.  Some clinics are utilizing tele-medicine where a doctor off site counsels a woman on how to use the pill and, when done, the pill is given to her by clinic staff.  This procedure is useful in areas where there are few abortion clinics.

So, the pill has not necessarily lived up to the hype.  But it’s still a good option for some women.

Happy anniversary to the pill.

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