Roundup: Afghan Woman in Critical Condition after Unsafe Abortion; Don’t Blames Movies for Teen Births

Afghan Woman Raped, Victim of Unsafe Abortion
A 14-year-old Afghan girl was raped and became pregnant.  Her brother
performed an illegal, unsafe abortion.  She’s now in critical
condition, and her brother is being held for performing the illegal
abortion.  Writes teh Associated Press,

in the deeply conservative country – where there are strong taboos
against sex outside of marriage – often got to extreme lengths to
conceal rape, which can destroy a victim’s reputation and future. Girls
who are raped have little chance of ever getting married and married
women are often shunned by their husbands. The victim and her family
are tainted with the shame of the act and the woman is often accused of
having consented to the sex.
"I told my sister that this was bad for us, for our family, and bad for the community," Ali told the AP.

Anti-Choice South Dakota Legislators Out of Touch with Constituents, Say Local Pro-Choice Groups
Dakota legislators may have passed sweeping bans on abortion in 2006,
but South Dakota voters decisively rejected that ban and a 2008
ban.  Does this mean legislators should think again before voting in
favor of an abortion ban?  "We want to be able to tell the folks
returning to Pierre that they should know how their constituents
voted," said Nathan Peterson, a spokesman for South Dakota Campaign for
Healthy Families, which released a post-election report. "We think it’s
a point worth revisiting, because not everybody heard the message." 
The Rapid City Journal
reports on two legislators who voted in favor of the 2006 ban who say
they wouldn’t vote for an abortion ban in the future knowing that their
constituents rejected recent bans.

One-Third of Elective C-Sections Performed Too Early

A National Institute of Child Health and Human Development study
found that 36% of elective C-sections are performed too early,
increasing newborns’ chances of respiratory problems, reports USA Today. "While
the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that
elective C-sections be performed no sooner than 39 full weeks of
gestation, the study found that 36% were earlier."

Abortion Fatigue Amongst Evangelical Christians, Too?

Christianity Today reports
on the "setbacks" for the anti-choice movement, one of which is a
general "abortion fatigue" among Americans.  Another is that
evangelical Christians themselves seem more energized about preventing
the legalization of same-sex marriage than outlawing abortion.  "Redefining marriage is a bigger deal to Americans," said Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Writes Christianity Today:

and other research suggest that younger evangelicals are more
supportive of abortion restrictions than older evangelicals are. A 2007
study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life showed that 70
percent of younger white evangelicals favor "making it more difficult
for a woman to get an abortion," compared with 55 percent of older
white evangelicals.

Don’t Blame the Movies
The teen birth rate is on the rise,
it’s true, but don’t go casting allusions about the role of movies, TV
and "culture" in promoting teen pregnancy, says Amy Benfer on Broadsheet
Benfer points out that the recent CDC statistics are from 2006, "before
Juno and Jami-Lynn became the public face of teen pregnancy in December
2007, followed by Gloucester girls last summer and Bristol Palin this
fall. But when have facts ever gotten in the way of a good story?" 
Benfer adds,

USA Today warns that "increases in high-profile unmarried
births in Hollywood, movies and even politics is a significant factor
for impressionable teens" and quotes Sarah Brown, CEO of the National
Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy: "In the last couple
of years, we had Jamie Lynn Spears. We had Juno and we had Bristol
Palin. Those three were in 2007 and 2008 and not in 2005 to 2006, but
they point to that phenomenon," she says. "Glowing media portrayals of
celebrity pregnancies don’t help," according to MSNBC, who then quotes
Stephanie Birch, director of maternal and child health programs in
Alaska, as saying, "They make it very glamorous." And Deborah Kotz at
U.S. News and World Report thinks that "movies, TV, and flashy magazine
spreads romanticizing teen pregnancy may be partly to blame."

I didn’t see anything particularly "glamorous," "romantic" or
"glorious" in any of these girls’ stories. But while it remains to be
seen whether teen pregnancy is actually on the rise for good, or if
this year is just a blip, this time around, you can’t blame these
girls. Leave it for the trend story writers in, ah, 2010.

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  • invalid-0

    Maybe teen girls are sick of being alone. Their parents were too busy switching partners and nurturing their backstop careers (since they know they can’t actually RELY on anyone) to pay any attention to their little goldfish. Perhaps the new generation of women rejects defensive “love” and is desperately searching for a real connection. A true feminist victory!???????????????

    (Gee, I guess now abortion won’t be able to be a “choice”. . .we’ll just have to force the little brats to kill their babies–for their own good, of course!)

  • invalid-0

    Lucille, I find your comment horrifyingly hostile to all of the parties involved. Maybe calling teens “goldfish” and “little brats” is worse then their mothers getting jobs? Because fathers have always been traditionally in careers. Are you actually blaming a rise in teen births in 2005 after a stagnation of two years a result of women entering the workplace for decades?

    It sounds like you are not trying to argue points but angrily defend a worldview by attacking others and calling them names. How about we focus on better outcomes instead of demonizing people?

    Oh, and by the way, mandatory response: abortion is not killing babies, it’s ending a pregnancy, 95% of the time it’s in the first trimester. Please don’t call 30% of the women in this country a murderer. Hard to get people to listen to you with that kind of demonizing of people. I would never go on a religious site and start ranting about all the people who are killed in the name of religion, or talk about the woman who drowned all of her kids in the bathtub and chanted bible verses in her defense and call Christians child murderers. Ditto on the priest/child molestation thing.

    Now, on to the article. I am upset with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy even more now. They are trying to blame it on everything other then what their won research shows: abstinence only education fails 95% of the time, and less teenagers are using contraception. What’s worse, other than blaming it on the media, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy also blames in on teens of color, even thought their own statistics show the increase in their contribution was not statistically significant, and 75% of the rise was due to all ethnicities of teens equally.

  • invalid-0


  • invalid-0

    One more edit, won = own. And, I forgot to mention that Lucille gets a square on Mommy Wars Bingo for assuming working mothers don’t love or pay attention to their children enough. Thanks for playing!

  • invalid-0

    I checked the statistics at the following:

    I noticed a slight decrease in total births in 2001 and 2002 then increasing slightly after that.

    So it seems that the increase in teen births is in line with all births.

    Also I noticed despite total number of children per woman dropping, yet teen births as a percentage of all births seem pretty stable over the past 65 years dropping only slightly.

    I am a sort of back to nature type, so my bias is to tend to look at what naturally happens and see it through that lens.

    I think we need to find healthy ways of dealing with what naturally happens.

    Certainly attitudes have changed towards teens parenting, and means of prevention and education have changed dramatically, but the numbers haven’t.