Monday, November 2, 2015

African Americans and Reproductive Rights

Ebony (Nov. 2, 2015): Choice Under Fire: Issues Surrounding African American Reproductive Rights, by Renee Bracey Sherman:

According to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly 1 in 3 women will have an abortion by age 45. Research shows Black women make up one-third of American women who have abortions, although only 13 percent of the U.S. female population. Black women are disproportionately more likely to have an abortion, a fact the Guttmacher Institute attributes to the lack of consistent access to quality contraception and health care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports Black women are also three to four times more likely than White women to die from pregnancy-related causes. 

A recent poll found that 80% of African-Americans believe that abortion should be legal and accessible.  Sherman's article describes wealth disparities between black and white women and research finding that three-quarters of women cite the "inability to afford a child and the impact it would have on the child they already have" as reasons for wanting an abortion. 

November 2, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Lingering Trauma of China's One-Child Policy

New York Times (Oct. 31, 2015): China's Longtime One-Child Rule Is Gone, but Trauma Lingers, by Edward Wong:

"Comprehensively implement a policy that couples can have two children, actively taking steps to counter the aging of the population,” the Communist Party said in a communiqué on Thursday. Those flat words, and their allusion to spurring economic growth, provided the official rationale for transforming a one-child policy that has left cradles empty and hearts hollow across China, scarring generations of families. The human rights abuses have included forced sterilizations and abortions, the killing of infants and the sale of children. From the start, in 1979, officials across China were told that population control was a priority, and that their jobs and career prospects, as well as those of colleagues, could depend on whether they met the targets. “The central government, though it didn’t actively advocate for the forceful measures, tacitly approved them because it didn’t say anything,” said Liang Zhongtang, 68, an early adviser to senior officials on family planning who advocated a two-child policy decades ago. So abhorrent are the practices that the United States government grants refugee status to Chinese citizens who say they face persecution because of coercive family planning, making it easier for those people to get asylum.

Many questions are raised by the termination of the one-child policy, among them who will take care of China's aging population and what the ramifications of the country's stark gender imbalance for the future stability of its society are. Some believe that the one-child policy has forever altered the way young people think about becoming parents. Others warn that until the system that emerged to enforce the one-child policy is abolished entirely, abuses will continue.   

November 1, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)