Monday, May 18, 2009

With Great Power...

... comes great responsibility.

But I think women who rallied for birth control and sexual freedom forgot something: being 'given' control over their bodies, they should also take responsibility for it.

And yet, in the U.S., unwanted pregnancies don't just happen to teenagers who lack education and support. A big percentage actually happen to women in their 20s.

For starters, we found that single women are much less savvy about birth control than they think. Nearly half of survey respondents said they don’t seek out information on preventing pregnancy because they know enough already. Yet when the National Campaign tested the same group on their knowledge, women scored 6 out of 11 on average and men a dismal 4.7. Why no urgent need to be informed? Researchers found that women are often passive or ambivalent about getting pregnant, with more than one in four saying, "If it happens, it happens" or "It would be no big deal." Says Sarah Brown, chief executive officer of the National Campaign, "We have a large number of single young adults who say they are not actively seeking pregnancy, but their actions don’t match their words. They’re not really trying, but they’re not really not trying."

Of course, it's always great if they choose to continue the pregnancy... but just how many of these women get to provide the home these kids need? How many of them raise their children by themselves? How many of them end up finding partners and enjoying a good family life? How many of them don't lose their kids to drugs and crime? After all, the fact that single parents have to work hard to earn a living often means that no one gets to really monitor and raise their child.

Such happiness is not the most likely script among the not-so-famous. Earlier data from the National Campaign shows that although having a baby after an unintended pregnancy can lead to a happy marriage, it’s more likely that relationships become strained. Nine months after an unplanned birth, 29 percent of women report frequent conflict with the father. And among couples living together when they accidentally got pregnant, two thirds are not married by the child’s second birthday. Nearly a quarter of the couples have split up — twice as many breakups as among married couples with unplanned pregnancies.

This also brings to mind nurses and doctors, or those others in the medical field who you'd expect will know better, having to deal with unwanted pregnancies. And since abortion is illegal in the Philippines, it's really a wonder why there aren't more educated people (especially women) being vigilant about family planning and birth control.


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