A Proven Three for One Return – an example of reducing poverty, abortions and unwanted pregnancies (a reprise from an earlier post)

The following post was written about seven years ago. Given my past volunteer work for working homeless families, this Colorado study was compelling.

If there was a proven solution that would accomplish three major goals and save money, it would be worth considering, right? If data revealed that a state could save $80 million and dramatically reduce abortions, unwanted pregnancies and help people in poverty, it would be as close to a no-brainer as we could get. Then, why is Colorado’s legislature unwinding funding to an effort to provide birth control and family planning to people in need?

Worldwide and in the US, there is a high correlation between larger family size and poverty. Further, a Harvard study from 1982 – 2011 indicates that one of five reasons for poor socio-economic mobility is fewer traditional families (some Conservatives like to say this is the only reason, but that oversimplifies).

Yet, the use of an obvious toolset with a proven track record does not stand up to the scrutiny of this legislature. Of course, the reason is the fervent belief against birth control even though the significant majority of women ignore their religion on this subject. About 90% of American Catholic women use or have used birth control.

In my work with homeless families, one of the reasons for some young women who find themselves homeless is having children before they are ready or out of wedlock. Also about 30% of our clients are victims of domestic violence. Lacking the additional income of a second parent, not to mention the support of a good one, puts a family in a hole which is hard to climb out of.

Here is where religion is less inclined toward the practical and can be harmful. We need to have holistic open discussions about this topic with teens. It is more than OK to preach abstinence, but these teens are tempted far more than we were at that age, and we were tempted. So, we need to teach a girl’s self-esteem is not tied into relenting to sex, nor is a boy’s for that matter. We need to teach boys that no means no. But, we need to also teach family planning and provide tools of birth control.

We have columnists who tout fatherless families as the reason for poverty in the Black community, which it is one of several. It is a reason no matter the race or ethnic group. Yet they stop short of defining one of the cures, which is noted above and proven to be successful. It should be noted in the states with the lowest abortion rate, they each have more robust family planning effort than states with higher rates.

Let’s be smart and practical about these issues. The data is pretty clear. And, it should be noted using a condom actually reduces STDs and HIV transmission which would be fourth benefit.

11 thoughts on “A Proven Three for One Return – an example of reducing poverty, abortions and unwanted pregnancies (a reprise from an earlier post)

  1. Note to Readers: Third world countries are used to the US being a yo-yo in its dealings on the subject of global health. When a Democrat president is sworn in, condoms are included in the distribution of supplies to help encourage family planning and stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. When a Republican president is sworn in, that rule is rescinded. It makes little sense from a data standpoint to do this, but that does not seem to interfere with a mission to send a message.

    It should be noted, a problem in third world countries is girls having babies before their bodies are ready at ages of 12 or 13. This causes vaginal tearing which leads to a medical problem called “fistula,” where there is excrement leakage into the vagina causing infection. A very tough book to read called “Half the Sky,” by Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristof speaks to this.

  2. It all starts with an open conversation and full information. That’s so right, it could definitely help to prevent early/unwanted pregnancies and therefore poverty! But the Catholic church still may not have an open ear due to its own “tradition”.

    • Erika, thanks. On this issue the Catholic Church is behind on what the parishioners believe and practice. They need to get with the times. Keith

      • I couldn’t agree more. The still live in a past where they could control people. That time is over and that is more and more distance from that religion.

      • Agreed. The religion is only growing south of the equator, but declining in the northern hemisphere for the reasons cited, plus that issue with pedophile priests.

  3. Note to Readers: Please take a few minutes to read a brief reference in the suggested reading under this post for the Colorado Family Planning Initiative. The data excerpts I reference are important, but also pay attention to the three anecdotes. They paint an interesting picture.

  4. The thread of the rationale to dismantle social care is there. However this is such a contradictory tangle of wishful thinking and the urge to returning to another age of hierarchical rule that it defies rational thinking of the 21st Century.

    • Roger, true. As you may recall, in 2017, the GOP was one vote away from eliminating the ACA, and Senator John McCain voted against so doing. His rationale was the GOP did not follow due process nor did they come up with a good replacement plan. McCain actually saved the GOP from itself and was hated for it by the base. As a retired benefits consultant, manager and actuary, what the GOP came up with was God-awful and was the process was thirteen white men throwing stuff against a wall to see what would stick. No women, who tend to be the primary health care taker in the family, no experts, no hearings, just awful legislation that would have harmed 20 million Americans. Keith

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