I read a lot of articles this week about reproduction, but two on teen issues really stuck out for me, especially this one about the new texting service offered in Toronto by Planned Parenthood. I think it’s such a great idea to have teens be able to text in their health questions rather than have to call. Teens can anonymously text questions about relationships, birth control, sexually transmitted infections, puberty, or other sexual health topics to 647-933-5399 and receive answers from peer volunteers. Awesome!
Speaking of teens, this article from Slate debunks the myth that teen moms who live in poverty do so because they have babies. In fact, new evidence suggests that poor women have babies because they are poor and have restricted economic and educational choices. Women with economic opportunities go out of their way to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. This is further evidence that restricting abortion and birth control hurts poor women the most, who can’t afford the very services that wealthier women will be able to seek out regardless of location or age. As this post from Jezebel argues, what we need to do is focus not just on reproductive choices and rights, but also justice, which means improving the lives of low-income women in general so that the concept of “choice” is possible in the first place. Handing out free condoms or simply pressuring girls to stay virgins is not working (big surprise!)