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Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Just when Bill O’Reilly was complaining that Beyoncé’s provocative new album, with its songs like “Drunk in Love,” was influencing teens—especially black teens—to have sex and get knocked up, news hits that teen pregnancy is actually at an all-time low and has fallen by 56 percent for African-American teenagers in the past two decades.
According to a study released this week by Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit reproductive health group, from 1990 to 2010 the U.S. pregnancy rate for 15-to-19 year olds fell by 51 percent, with approximately 614,000 occurring in 2010. A drop in pregnancies was seen across racial and ethic groups, though as Time reports, Hispanic and black teens got pregnant at nearly three times the rate of their white peers. In 1990 the white-teen pregnancy rate was 86.6 per 1,000 vs. 223.8 per 1,000 for black teens. In 2010 the rates had fallen to 37.8 per 1,000 for whites and 99.5 per 1,000 for blacks. Among Hispanic teens, the pregnancy rate fell from a high of 169.7 per 1,000 in 1992 to 83.5 per 1,000 in 2010.
And in other good news: Teen abortions were also on the decline, down 66 percent from 1998 to 2010, when there were reported 14.7 abortions per 1,000 women. Meanwhile, teen birthrates fell by 44 percent from 1991 to 2010, with about 34.4 births per 1,000 women.
The reason for the decline? Knowledge of birth control, and access to it—so fewer teens are getting pregnant in the first place, says lead author Kathryn Kost, which is interesting since as the LA Times points out, just last month the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that 83 percent of sexually active women between 15 and 17 didn’t learn about abstinence or birth control in sex education until after they had lost their virginity.
As reported by MSNBC, despite the ongoing declines, Guttmacher researchers found that New Mexico has the nation’s highest teen pregnancy rate with 80 per 1,000 women, followed by Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. New Hampshire had the lowest teen pregnancy rate with 28 pregnancies per 1,000, followed by Vermont, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Maine.
TELL US: Are you surprised by the findings?
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Thursday, February 13th, 2014
Can you imagine the thrill of finding out you’re pregnant—with twins—and then at your 15-week check up being told that you are having conjoined twins? Not only that, but they are conjoined in such a rare way that there are only 35 other recorded cases in the world and none of them have survived. That’s the reality for Australians Renee Young and Simon Howie, who were told their daughters will have separate but identical faces on a shared skull with two brains on one brain stem, and will share a body. According to doctors this type of duplication, known as craniofacial hyperhidrosis or diprosopus, is so rare that the chances of having this happen is between one in a million and one in two million.
“Shocked” and “confused” the couple drove home silently, still processing the information, not ready to even speak to each other about it. Though doctors advised a late term abortion (since Renee was already in the second trimester), the couple agreed that was not an option for them, believing that having conjoined twins was the same as being told, “a child had autism or down syndrome”. “I don’t believe in terminating the baby if it’s healthy and growing fine,” said Simon.
The couple—who already have seven other children—are determined to see the pregnancy through even though doctors say the baby will likely not survive past birth (and if she did, the costs of treatment would be off the charts). “If I only get two days with my daughters, at least I have some time with them,” Renee told A Current Affair at 19 weeks. “And their brothers and sisters get to meet them.”
TELL US: What would you do if you were told you would have conjoined twins, who would likely not survive past birth?
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Thursday, January 16th, 2014
When you’re pregnant, and especially when you’re getting into your third trimester, you can’t help but be soooo excited! You’re counting down the days till you can finally meet the little nugget you’ve been carrying inside you. You can’t wait till you can hold him, count his little fingers and toes, and take in all of that yummy new baby smell.
Now imagine you’re seven months pregnant, and in full nesting mode, getting every last detail perfect for the arrival of your mini man—a little brother for your older son. Then, the government sends a gang of people to abduct you, and hold you down on a table while that baby you have been dreaming about is forcibly aborted. You scream out begging them to stop, but they keep right on going. Within minutes, your baby is gone, and you will forever feel like a piece of you is missing. Your son will never be a big brother. How can you just pick up the pieces and pretend like it never happened? You can’t!
No, this is not the plot to some Hollywood blockbuster. This is the story of Gong Qifeng, a Chinese woman who was seven months pregnant when she was given an abortion against her will, because she was pregnant with her second child—which violates the country’s strict One Child Policy. The even sadder part is that Gong’s story isn’t that out of the ordinary in her country, and many women who’ve been forced into abortions end up having mental breakdowns (like Gong, who was recently diagnosed with Schizophrenia) or commit suicide.
According to the 2012 Department of State Human Rights Report on China, 590 women are committing suicide a day in the country. Two of the factors cited include “the traditional preference for male children, and birth limitation policies.” The Chinese government is said to be easing up on the Once Child Policy, because they are now allowing people who are only children to have two kids. But that is only if they are granted a permit before getting pregnant—talk about planned parenthood!
If a couple gets pregnant a second time without government permission, it’s considered a crime and the woman could be subjected to a forced late-term abortion if and when the government finds out she’s pregnant. To date, the Chinese Communist Party boasts that it has prevented 400 million lives through the One Child Policy. There’s no way of knowing how many of those lives were lost to late-term abortions, and how many women are mentally, physically and emotionally scarred for life from this sick and inhumane policy. What a complete nightmare these women have to endure. My heart is breaking for each and every one of them.
TELL US: What would you do if you lived in a country that had a One Child Policy?
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Friday, June 7th, 2013
I was struck by the outpouring of feedback Parents received on Facebook after my last blog post, Terminate Your Pregnancy or Your Life? A Breast Cancer Dilemma. People were equally passionate for both sides. Many of you agreed with Laura, the woman who chose to terminate her fourth pregnancy in favor of saving her life so she could continue to be a mom to her three children. Some of you had even had to make that traumatic decision yourself (my heart goes out to each and every one of you!)
But lots of you felt that in the same situation you would have taken the risk and not received chemotherapy or undergone surgery in hopes of saving your unborn child. Many shared stories of friends and family members who took the risk and the baby lived and the mom died shortly after—making the ultimate sacrifice for her child; while others did the same and it paid off with a full recovery for the mom and a healthy baby.
Since one thing you all agreed on is that you care so deeply about the lives of little ones, I wanted to share some good news with you from this article I stumbled upon in the Daily Mail about brave moms who decided not to listen to their doctors’ advice when their pregnancies were seen as high-risk. Please understand that this is in no way an endorsement of going rogue against a doctor’s counsel (only you and your partner can decide what’s right for you and your family after hearing all of the medical facts), it’s merely me wanting to share the flip side of yesterday’s coin.
Imagine you’re an elementary school teacher who always felt she was born to be a mom. You’ve tried to get pregnant for seven years with thee failed rounds of IVF and one heartbreaking miscarriage before finally getting pregnant—with triplets! That’s exactly what happened to Kirsty Woodhouse, now 37. She was expecting identical twins and a singleton (weird name, I know, but it’s a technical term meaning the baby was not a fraternal or identical twin to either of the others). Multiple births are always considered high risk, so Kirsty was quickly advised that there was a 20 percent chance she would miscarry all three and her doctor advised that the best chance of having one healthy baby was “selective reduction,” which meant terminating the identical twins.
The procedure would require a needle to be passed through her abdomen, into her womb that would inject the twins’ hearts with a chemical that would stop them from beating. There was also a risk that the third child would also be affected by the chemical, leaving Kirsty and her husband with no child at all. But that risk was less than if she proceeded with carrying the triplets. If she and her husband went against medical advisement and she miscarried all three babies there was a good chance that she would never birth her own child (of course surrogacy and adoption were always an option).
While getting a second opinion, Kirsty’s new doctor took the positive spin to the same facts and said there was still an 80 percent chance that if she continued with the pregnancy that one or more of the babies could survive. After having seen their babies on Kirsty’s sonograms, hearing their heartbeats and already forming an unconditional love for each of them, Kirsty and her husband’s decision had been made for them. They were too emotionally connected to all three babies to end any of their lives intentionally.
Kirsty’s pregnancy was complication-free from then on out. After a planned caesarean at 34 weeks, now all three 15 month olds are happy and healthy. Kirsty and her entire family can’t bring themselves to wonder what their lives would have been like without these three bundles of joy. For her, all of the stress and worrying was worth it. She chose her own path and it lead to three beautiful babies.
Tell Us: If you were pregnant with multiples, would you risk one baby’s life to save another?
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Abortion, High-Risk Pregnancy, Identical Twins, IVF, Miscarriage, Multiples, pregnancy, pregnant, Triplets, Twins | Categories:
Healthy Pregnancy, Pregnancy News