Get the fainting couch ready, Shakers: Unwanted Pregnancies Rise for Poor Women. And—brace yourselves—“relatively affluent women are succeeding more and more in getting pregnant only when they want to.”

Oh, Martha-Ann—what could possibly account for this disparity?

Asked what was driving the trends, the authors noted that some state and federal reproductive health programs have been cut or made more restrictive in recent years. State and federal programs have increasingly focused on abstinence rather than contraception, and some analysts have argued that the shift is leading to less use of contraceptives and more unintended pregnancies.
Gee, so does that mean that retrofuck social conservatives will finally change their tune about the efficacy of abstinence-only programs? Of course not!

Leslee Unruh, president and founder of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, a South Dakota-based nonprofit that seeks to educate about abstinence programs, said the growing number of unintended pregnancies among poorer women shows that traditional sex education programs are failing.

"Programs for poor women are often so condescending, even degrading," she said. "They teach how to put on a condom rather than how to take control of their lives."
Hmm. I never considered how self-deprecating I was being when I required my sex partners to use condoms all these years. Silly me, I thought that protecting myself against unwanted pregnancy and disease was actually a pretty darn good way of taking control of my life. I had no idea that simply repressing all my sexual urges, even with my husband, was a better way to go about it.

The authors said the growing disparities between richer and poorer women appeared to be the result of greater contraceptive use by the more affluent.
I wonder if that has anything to do with more affluent women being able to afford to pay for birth control out-of-pocket, since a lot of health plans still don’t cover prescription birth control. Or affluent women being more likely to have the health plans that do cover prescription birth control, or health plans full stop. Or the de-emphasis on condom use, since condoms used to be more freely available at federally funded clinics. Boy, I just really wonder what could account for greater contraceptive use by the more affluent.

The health statistics center, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported in 2004 that after decades of increasing contraceptive use, the trend stalled in the late 1990s and began to decline after that. The decline occurred almost entirely in poorer women.
Huh. What happened in, oh say, the year 2000 that could possibly have reversed the trend in contraceptive use? You don’t think it has anything to do with a president who quite possibly thinks that prayer is the best contraceptive method, do you?

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