Thu Jul 26, 2012, 10:35 PM
TheWraith (24,331 posts)
So I went on a date last Sunday...
A veterinary tech who lives in a nearby city, but was born and raised in Mississippi. While we were having coffee, I made a comment about my fairly rural hometown, to the effect that all the young people either leave town or get knocked up.
She told me about some of her experiences in vet school, going into the poorest parts of MS to visit farms for training, and especially the sorry state of the Mississippi river delta. There, the teenage pregnancy rate is just about the highest it is anywhere in the country, especially among the black population; pretty much any girl who is there and can't get out either is pregnant or will be. Another friend of mine summed it up very well once: that in a small town, "there's nothing to do but each other." Combined with no education, no knowledge of safe sex, and no options in life, it's not a very pretty picture.
I point this out because I worry that too often we get distracted by the personal level it comes to talking about birth control and abortion. "My body," "Our bodies," yes, but that's not really the big picture. The big picture and the real problem isn't the informed, educated people who know how to make choices in their lives, and the motivation to do what they have to. It's about making sure that the young girl who's the daughter of a fisherman in the poorest part of America knows that she has options besides getting pregnant at 16 and being the wife of a kid who enlists in the Army or goes to work as a petty laborer. It's about making sure that another generation isn't raised in enforced poverty to repeat the cycle for their own children. It's about giving the next generation a world they want to live in, one better than their parents had, rather than one that they're forced into.
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