All Articles Tagged "abortion"
Planned Parenthood has been under heavy attack from anti-abortion organizations, particularly after the release of its annual report last month showing millions in taxpayer funding and a reduction of non-abortion health services. And as states such as Texas, which recently became one of 13 states to ban abortion after 20 weeks, many local Planned Parenthood clinics have closed.
But black women are coming to the rescue. Among the African-American celebrities actively promoting the organization are Star Jones and Nia Long. Recently Jones joined Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards for an off-the-record discussion of reproductive health and Planned Parenthood’s future with a room full of African-American female influencers, including BET President Debra Lee, producer Crystal McCrary and CBS medical expert Dr. Holly Phillips, reports The Root.
Alexis McGill Johnson, a former political adviser to Sean “Diddy” Combs (remember his get out-the-vote campaign?) and Russell Simmons, hosted the event in her home. Johnson is currently chairwoman of the Planned Parenthood board of directors.
“Women’s health is one of my primary issues. I work so hard to make sure women are aware of ownership of our own bodies, and I see everything Planned Parenthood does as connected to women’s health,” Jones told The Root. “I know the nation thinks of Planned Parenthood in a very myopic way.” But, she adds, “[w]hen it comes to women’s health, they are the first line of defense for most lower-income women in America.”
The event at Johnson’s home was the latest event in Planned Parenthood’s multiyear campaign to boost its outreach to communities of color. Johnson was appointed board chairwoman earlier this year, in January Debra Alligood-White joined the organization as general counsel, and, Alencia Johnson became press officer focusing on African-American media in April, joining Kristi Henderson, who started as director of communications in April 2011. Of the organization’s nine-member executive team, three are black.
Although from 1978 to 1992, Faye Wattleton served as the organization’s first–and only–black president, Planned Parenthood has long suffered from image issues and ineffective outreach in communities of color. “This became particularly evident as the “black genocide” movement began gaining momentum and significant media in recent years. In 2011 billboards depicting black children with the tagline ‘the most dangerous place for African Americans is in the womb’ appeared,” reports The Root. The group behind the billboards accused Planned Parenthood of targeting minority communities.
Plus, the organization’s complicated early history has undertones of racism. For example, the organization’s founder, Margaret Sanger, spoke in front of organizations like the Ku Klux Klan.
According to PBS, “A significant faction within the Black Power movement believed that population growth was key to increasing black political strength. At the 1967 Black Power Conference in Newark, N.J., attendees passed an anti-birth control resolution declaring birth control to be the equivalent of black genocide.”
But as black women continue to have the highest rate of unplanned pregnancies of any community, access to contraception has become important. The battle has put the spotlight again on Planned Parenthood, making it one of the most visible political activist groups in the country–and black women are increasingly vital it to win this fight.
“Women of color are leading in so many ways, and I felt it was really important to gather a group of women who have been successful in banking, media and politics, just ideas for how we can use our power to push for the issues we care about. Planned Parenthood is one of those issues,” said Johnson.
Pro-choice advocates are upset with Michigan lawmakers who have just passed a controversial measure banning all insurance plans in the state from covering abortion unless the woman’s life is in danger. Women and employers must purchase a separate abortion rider if they would like the procedure covered, even in cases of rape and incest.
The law, called the “Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act,” goes into affect in March. Supporters argue that it allows people who are anti-abortion to avoid paying into a plan that covers it. Opponents, however, have nicknamed the new law the “rape insurance” initiative, since it would force some women to anticipate the possibility of being raped by purchasing the extra abortion insurance ahead of time, reports The Huffington Post.
“This tells women who were raped … that they should have thought ahead and planned for it,” said Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing) during debates about the new law. “Make no mistake, this is anything but a citizens’ initiative. It’s a special interest group’s perverted dream come true.”
Actually the law isn’t new. Last year, the Michigan State Legislature first passed the measure, but Governor Rick Snyder (R) vetoed it, saying he does not “believe it is appropriate to tell a woman who becomes pregnant due to a rape that she needed to select elective insurance coverage.”
Anti-abortion group Right to Life of Michigan rallied in response to the veto and collected more than 300,000 voter signatures on a petition this year to push for a second vote on the measure. Now, having been passed by both chambers, the bill automatically becomes law — even without Snyder’s approval.
“More than 80 percent of private insurance plans currently cover abortions, The New York Times reported, citing research organization the Guttmacher Institute. Eight states have passed similar laws banning the insurance coverage of abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, but only two of them have actually made the abortion rider available to women,” reports HuffPo.
During the debates in Michigan several Democratic women lawmakers became emotional during debates as they revealed personal stories of rape, miscarriage and abortion. State Rep. David Knezek (D) blasted the measure as misogynistic.
“This body made up of 80 percent men will make a decision that will impact 100 percent of women,” he said.
What do you think of this law?
From Black Voices
22-year-old Molly Anne Dutton was crowned Auburn University’s 100th homecoming queen this past Saturday but that’s just part of what makes her story headline worthy.
Dutton’s biological mother was a victim of a sexual assault, resulting in pregnancy. A married woman at the time, her husband gave her an ultimatum: abort the baby or face a divorce.
Dutton’s mother chose to move from California to Alabama to carry the baby to term and placed her baby girl up for adoption with the help of Lifeline’s Children Services, a Christian adoption agency in Birmingham.
Now, 22 years later, Dutton is sharing the difficult circumstances of how she was brought into the world with the goal of raising awareness and providing information about options available to women during “crisis pregnancies.” Her campaign is called “Light up LIFE” and in addition to YouTube videos and speaking on campus, she’s raising money for the Christian adoption agency that placed her with a family by selling t-shirts on campus.
Read more at BlackVoices.com
Q: My husband and I dated for three years before we got married and while we were dating I got pregnant. I was nervous, excited and scared all at the same time. Around that time, we didn’t have a car, I didn’t have a steady job and I had just started college. My husband and I decided we couldn’t provide for the baby. I was scared because I knew my husband was right. I had an abortion.
Every year since then we always argue about it, but we never sit down and talk about how what happened changed our lives or how it changed my life. I think about my decision every day. I cry each time I think about it. I can’t talk to anyone about this and I feel lost. I’m a good person and I have a good heart. I know I would have made a great mother. We’ve been married for almost a year now, and I’m scared that I’m not going be able to have any more children. I love my husband very much and he’s great with kids, but I just want us to talk about what happened. What can I do to help him talk to me? I’m lost! – Anonymous
Read more at Essence.com
As a child I was quite the ‘girly’ girl. I played with dolls, lived in pretty dresses and adored makeup. Even at a young age I was tapped into my womanhood. I knew exactly the type of woman I would be, the kind that studied law and went on to be a stylish but intelligent criminal defense attorney. I would live in a cute and spacious one bedroom and drive an affordable car until I gifted myself with a more luxurious one upon law school graduation. My counterpart would be equally educated and ambitious. We would be great together, almost perfect. Eventually the relationship would grow and we would make more of a commitment to each other, living together, sharing bank accounts and planning our future.
This nearly perfect picture just didn’t include one thing: children. I never saw a future that included children. I’m not sure when it happened, but as far back as I can recall I have never seen myself as a mother. My sister and I would play with our dolls and pretend house. However, I could never relate to the mother role. I understood what being a mother meant; the enormity of it was overwhelming to me. I believe it was that understanding that made it so I had no wish for having a child of my own. I’m not sure if it’s the weight of being responsible for another life or the amount of work involved, or maybe I just didn’t have the maternal instinct I’ve heard about so often. I simply did not want to be a mother–until my abortion.
Not all aspects of my dream life happened exactly the way I envisioned it. I graduated college, yes, but never made it to law school. I had a great job and a very active social life and for the most part my life was seemingly good. The part of my life that ended up being different from my expectations was my relationship with men. I won’t rehash the long list of “he should have been the one, he could have been the one, or he would have been the one… if”. We would be here for a very, very long time. Let’s just say I haven’t really met the “one”. However, there was one who got closer than any other. So close in fact, the whole experience has altered me forever.
It was wonderful in the beginning. There was love and laughter. We progressed along quite seamlessly and very naturally. Almost two years later, we went away on a trip to celebrate my birthday. There was a gorgeous hotel, wine tasting, a Jacuzzi and amazing warm weather. All the fixings for the perfect romantic weekend. It was bliss! And then a month later it became hell. I was pregnant and my world came crashing down. Me? Pregnant? I was blown away.
I was so stunned and confused that I told myself over and over again there has to be some kind of mistake. But no mistake about it, I was with child. I cried and cried, and when I thought I had no more tears, I cried some more. From the start of our relationship he and I discussed having children and I knew he, very much like myself, did not want anything to do with kids or becoming a parent. Telling him was incredible hard but dealing with his reaction was so much harder. His lips started to move but as he spoke it felt like a fog had come over us and it was hard to see or hear. I only heard the word abortion. It rolled around in my head, over and over like dice hitting the table. When it finally stopped I realized that was just the beginning. In not so many words he told me the relationship would be over if I kept the pregnancy. Conflicted, panic-stricken and scared could not sufficiently described how I felt. There were so many emotions I felt all at once that it consumed me. I didn’t want children but I didn’t want to get an abortion. I didn’t want my relationship to end but I didn’t want to be a single mother.
Read more on MommyNoire.com.
Is it OK to celebrate a man not having any more kids? When it comes to Slim Thug it just feels right, which is why we’re reporting that the 32-year-old decided to go under the knife to prevent making anymore babies and as a result, owing anymore child support. He posted a post-op photograph with the captions:
“#NoNewKids #NoNewBabymamas #NoMoChildSupport #NoLittleGirl just me and my 3 Boyz
I’m laying in my bed, watchin’ TV with my feet kicked up and ice pack on my balls. That’s what it’s gonna be for the night…foot surgery in the morning.”
Uhh, ok. I guess nothing, absolutely NOTHING is private anymore. But I suppose this is a responsible course of action for the rapper, who one year ago, advocated for abortion as a form of birth control, stating that:
“I think abortion is necessary on some occasions. People be against it, but people don’t deal with the real life situations some people deal with. I don’t think it’s right, I don’t think it’s good to have a baby and not be with the father. That’s part of the biggest problem. My mother, she took care of me, but she was working 7 days-a-week, 12 hours-a-day. That was a struggle, I seen how much she struggled and it was so hard coming up. I don’t even know who my daddy is. I don’t like that. I think a kid deserves both his parents. That’s why I think if you ain’t gonna be with somebody, you don’t need to have a kid with him.
Even though I got 3 baby mamas…. it’s working out. But it ain’t right. I ain’t saying wait 3 or 4 months. If it’s immediate, it’s like birth control to me.”
While that train of thought really ground my gears, his decision, now, a year later to get a vasectomy proves that some people do realize that it takes two to make a baby and that all of the pressure should not be on mothers alone to have abortions to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
So while folks are still fired up from the George Zimmerman “not guilty” verdict, might I entice your burgeoning Fight the Power spirits with a little petition signing?
Petitions! huh-yeah What are they good for? Absolutely Nothing. Say it again…
True, folks have made a mockery of petitioning – from the pimply faced kid with the clipboard in front of the supermarket hustling signatures for a paycheck to the person who started (as well as the people that encouraged by actually signing) a petition to get Nicci Gilbert removed from a reality television show because you just don’t like her. However hiding in the midst of the pure fuckery are some really genuine appeals, which probably could use our support.
I’m kind of feeling the White House petition site – not just because it is a direct online link to the White House but if you could rally slumbering spirits of 100,000 of your closes allies, you could possibly get the White House to respond to your appeal. I actually created one myself a few months back, appealing to the government to create a special committee for the serious inquiry into black reparations. I only got 12 signatures and a bunch of useless debating on Facebook about the value of reparations anyway. Black people couldn’t even stick together if our lives depended on it – oh wait…
Anyway, here is a list of ten other [non-reparations seeking] petitions, which you might consider signing:
Editor’s Note: To sign the following petitions click on the hyperlinked, bolded and underlined text right beneath the image.
Well, well well. What do we have here? Kirk and Rasheeda sitting down for an interview…together. Just as their marriage is unraveling on our tv screens every Monday night, the two are hitting the interview circuit. They sat down with an radio program in Atlanta, Streetz Morning Grind, and discussed why Kirk asked Rasheeda to get a blood test and why Rasheeda thinks he really came at her sideways.
Then in the second part of their interview, the two speak on whether they’re together right now and whether or not they want to be married to one another.
First Rasheeda explains why Kirk came at her the wrong way.
“It’s like we’ve been in a marriage for a long time and you know how it can get. It can get bad. And unfortunately ours played out in front of the world. He’s said some stuff that made me want to go in, in in. But I’m looking at it like, I’m in a place in my life where I’m so secure– for him to come at me in the crazy ways and say some of the crazy stuff he’s said. I’m really looking at him like ‘You need to deal with your issues because it’s you.’ A lot times when men come at you sideways with them crazy little remarks and little smart comments, it’s their own insecurities and something he needs to get straight.”
Then Kirk explains how he felt about Rasheeda’s mom confronting him.
“It was one of them things where I was saying what was on my mind. Then Rasheeda mom all in the marriage. She was going off on me like she was my mother. But she don’t know what I know. She don’t be where you [Rasheeda] be. She don’t know where your joint be.”
You know what– cuz he sounds like a fool.
Kirk explains why he asked Rasheeda to get a blood test
Three years ago, all of a sudden, I get a phone call. Somebody says yo I need you to get a blood test, I think this child may be yours. SO another man is raising a child. I go take the little swab test, it’s my son. So I found out I had a kid three years ago. For me as a guy, you can’t always believes what a woman tells you.
If that scarred you, I’m sorry that that scarred you but don’t come at me sideways like that. Something wrong with you.
Then in the second part of their interview, they get down to the current state of their relationship.
Are ya’ll good now?
Kirk: I’m working on it. That’s what I can say.
Rasheeda: I ain’t did nothing. I’m very pregnant and trying to stay focused and stay strong and stay stress free so I don’t have any problems during this whole little term.
Do you still want to be married?
Kirk: Of course. I’m working on it. I’m trying to find myself back in a decent place. But I’m not going to be working on it and somebody telling me, ‘Go do whatever and You do you.’ I’ma try but it gotta be both people.”
Check out the interview in its entirety on the next page.
That Kirk Frost ignorance just won’t let up, huh?
Despite having been completely done with this man four episodes ago of “Love & Hip-Hop,” the foolishness that comes out of his mouth continues to baffle me. Take, for instance, the nonsense he told Chicago’s the Morning Riot when he called into the radio show to explain his behavior on LHHATL so far. Just a heads up, it does nothing to help his character. Here’s what he said:
Whether the marriage drama on the show is real
We do argue. We do have these problems. It’s just the cameras are there.
On if he really wants Rasheeda to get an abortion
At that point in time, I said it, but did I really truly mean it? No. I said it because it was messing with our business. I was really pissed off. This is my thing, a baby comes out a woman, it don’t come out a guy. You don’t know where that woman’s privates been.”
Whether Rasheeda cheated before
“Not that I know of, but Rasheeda’s s a rapper….At the time I was going through a lot with my brother having a heart transplant, my other brother in the feds having probems. It was so much going on and Rasheeda and me were in a bad place. It really came across foul but I don’t even remember it being that kind of moment. But when I wanted to have a child last year and the year before, it was like ‘no I gotta make my money–’
Whether he’s cheated or is cheating
“At that point in time, was I? No.” (Now?) “That remains to be seen.”
If he regrets demanding an abortion/blood test
“I definitely do. I wouldn’t have said that if I felt like I feel now….” She saw what I was going through with my children (he has four others that are not with Rasheeda) and for her to pop up pregnant now, it was a bad time. Why would you do this now? When you’re shelling out $20,000 for a lawyer (he was in court for one of his sons) and have boyfriend problems with your daughter…I was mad.”
If he wants the child now
I definitely want my child. I’m going o have my child. He/she is going to be here.”
The current status of his & Rasheeda’s marriage
“We’re friends. We’re still husband and wife. But do we still have some problems to work out, yes we do.”
Y’all can listen to the rest of the madness here. Does this interview clear up anything for you?
Don’t know if you watch Love and Hip Hop ATL but the latest episode really bothered me. Recently, Kirk and Rasheeda, who have been married for 13 years, recently got pregnant unexpectedly. The couple were already having marital and financial problems and Kirk didn’t feel like it was a good time for them to have a child.
During the episode, Kirk asks Rasheeda to get an abortion and then tells her when she has the baby he’ll want a blood test.
So my question is, is it ever appropriate to ask your wife to have an abortion? Why or why not and how do you go about getting a blood test once the baby is born.
Asking About Abortion