The decision to show Tebow in a maternity ward, wearing a white coat, and coaching a pregnant woman in labor was a bad one. Depicting famously anti-choice spokespeople as experts, or even ordinary Joes, in the arena of reproductive health is not funny. It’s disrespectful.
In the same week, Rand Paul praised his sister for having six kids but denounced a hypothetical woman on assistance who has only five. The contrast lays bare the hypocrisy and prejudice of the anti-choice movement, and shows how conservatives use children as weapons against women.
The Oscar-nominated film Philomena tells the tale of an Irish Catholic mother separated from her son by one of Ireland’s infamous 20th century Magdalene Laundries. But this adoption system wasn’t limited to mid-century Ireland; there are millions of Philomenas out there.
“It’s just a fake front issue to talk about abortion,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said of HR 7, the anti-choice bill passed just hours before Tuesday’s State of the Union address. “What they’re really talking about is contraception, family planning, the judgment of women.”
This week, Chicago launches a new initiative to up the number of teens who get vaccinated for HPV, a Spanish study makes headlines about how rich people supposedly have better sex, and a New York Times op-ed urges safe sex for seniors.
Last month’s CNN piece on sex trafficking in Cambodia was notable because it represented a common failure of the media to report effectively on issues like trafficking in ways that do not compound the harm to those most affected.
Philomena is another reminder of the vast inequalities between those who adopt children and birth mothers.
Conservatives have been turning up the volume on the irrational, unevidenced claim that poverty is caused by not being married. In reality, poverty is caused by not having enough money. This should be obvious, but it clearly needs to be said more often.
Researchers and the general public may be unable to agree on teen pregnancy shows’ contributions to society, but what we all can agree on is that these MTV shows present tired tropes about teen moms that are harmful for young girls.
A new paper suggests that MTV’s 16 and Pregnant franchise has helped reduced the teen birth rate by almost 6 percent. Before we start celebrating, however, let’s remember that the show is stereotypical and exploitative and that the ends don’t always justify the means.