Thursday, May 17, 2007

Blakely's right, Louisiana DOES need birth control!

Normally I respect the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper. They have done an amazing job the last couple of years, and have been a catalyst for change (sometimes).

This article today strikes me as them trying to create controversy:
http://blog.nola.com/times-picayune/2007/05/blakely_says_louisiana_needs_b.html

Recovery czar Blakely says that Louisiana needs birth control. From my own personal experiences, I can say unreservedly that I agree with him. I have known scores of young GIRLS that have multiple children, out of wedlock, and then find it impossible to work, or just patently refuse to work since they can live off the government dole. There was a 15-year-old girl at my church that had a a two year old daughter by her fifteenth birthday. Now if you do the math, she conceived shortly after turning 12-years-old. She had another child by age 17, by a different father. The terms "baby daddy" and "baby momma" are so common here that even 10 years ago B. Rock and the Bizz had a regional hit with "That's just my baby daddy."

Who that is?
That's just my baby daddy
Who that is?
That's just my baby daddy
Who that is?
That's just my baby daddy
Who that is?
That's just my baby daddy
Who that is?
That's just my baby daddy
Who that is?
That's just my baby daddy
Who that is?
That's just my baby daddy
Who that is?
T-Bird, that's just my baby daddy

When my wife was the Young Women's President at church, she had some girls, ages 12-14, that they couldn't afford to go to college; they had it all figured out, get pregnant in high school and then get "set up" as they put it.

What I'm saying here is nothing new. Everyone knows that New Orleans is a suckhole of welfare, public assistance, and everything that is WRONG with government aid programs. While meant as a hand-up originally, here they have become entitlement programs.

And don't kid yourself into some uninformed prejudiced idea that it's only black people that take advantage of the system this way. It's systemic, across the whole state: white, black, Hispanic, or Chitimacha. When Mr. Blakely says that the state needs birth control, he is absolutely correct. Children are having children. Single moms with 8 kids by eight different fathers should not be rewarded for further contributing to their own poverty by having evermore children.

As an example, my boy scouts from 2002, where are they now?

Maxmillyen Smith: Currently serving in Iraq
Daniel Van Dam: Student at Auburn University
Brandon Jenkins: Dead
Robert Smith: Living in Houston,
Daniel Webb: Living in Houston
Chris Foster: 3rd strike, incarcerated in Angola for grand theft auto
Jonathan Foster: incarcerated for assault and battery (last I heard)
Ikey Smith: Has a child, out of wedlock, and he's just turned 16. His child is 12 months old.

Of these eight boys, only one had a dad living at home. I'm not sure how many of them actually even knew their own fathers. When Brandon died, his family had no idea where his mom was....turns out she had died a couple of months earlier.

Now, much suffering could be prevented if these kids had access to birth control. If teenagers here took birth control, it would be far cheaper for the state to pay for the contraceptives through age 19 than to pay for all the costs involved with unwed teenage pregnancies. Perhaps we could get kids to actually graduate from high school, go to college, and end the cycle of poverty and violence that sucks the life out of this city.


Disease preventionist would cry that by giving them birth control instead of condoms, that we would just see a rise in venereal diseases. I counter that these kids aren't using condoms in the first place. Offer them the pill and condoms. While the above commercial is funny, condoms should NEVER be used as birth control; they are for disease prevention.

Click this link to see a chart of what doctors call people that use condoms for birth control:
http://www.iraqvsneworleans.com/Mac/

I always find it sad that when one of these kids gets killed in a drug gangland murder, you always see the Mom crying, wailing, gnashing her teeth, but you never ever see a father. The father is absent. We are breeding generation after generation of fatherless children, of broken homes, and indolence. Mr. Blakely doesn't deserve to have the Times-Picayune pick a fight with him. He's absolutely right. If some people don't want to hear it, tough shit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The tough part about this, I think, is that even if you agree that birth control should be used in higher numbers, and even if you agree that government should play a more active role in that process, there's no good way to get people--particularly teenagers--to use birth control.

Consider your own example of the teenage mother who *wants* to be pregnant so as to get life "set up." What good is making birth control more available to that type of person? She isn't going to use it.

(And I don't think we need to get into the dangers and the PR bloodbath there would be if birth control became mandatory.)

...I really thought we were doing Ikey some good. Reading your list of young men is like a kick in the stomach.

-Brent