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Minority Family Planning Essay

1621 words - 7 pages

Grocery shopping first alerted me to the surge of children appearing in the city; noticing more items labeled ‘WIC approved’ along with ‘We accept EBT cards’ at wholesale clubs. Not having children personally but seeing families of matriarchs at these locations with multiple children around the same age—the question became: Where are all these children coming from? Having read somewhere the pregnancy rates have gone down substantially, the reality of the situation is proving otherwise. In fact it appears there is a population explosion particularly by lower-income minority females. Again maybe Hampton is a special place, but more young economically disadvantaged African American women ...view middle of the document...

According to the Virginia Department of Health’s (2008) 2008 health statistics, Black girls ranging from ages of eleven to nineteen had almost three times—241 to 94—as many births than White girls (Table 10, column 9). With this particular segment of the population about 29% live below the poverty level in single-female headed households. This scenario is frightening. As Heather Corinna (2007), author and early childhood educator, contended in her tome S.E.X., "unwanted pregnancy and childbearing can result in both private and public ills” and is often times “compounded by poverty, lack of education, unwanted parenting, and the stigmas affixed to [teenage] and single parents (pg. 241, 242). There are many theories and reasons—social and economic—why this is occurring not only in Hampton, but nationwide. Emphasis should be placed on the beliefs and norms that allow these conditions to flourish; how they can just become commonplace as if this is the proper way to start and raise a family. As stated, some of the stigmas associated with such births become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Poverty and lack of education often go together, so to infuse social resources that offer family planning often goes unused because of the normalized conditions these young women were born into; they manage to emulate these behaviors. In any case, Hampton offers two comprehensive family planning resources available to all throughout the city.

Community Resources
Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia and Healthy Start, a program a part of the Healthy Families Partnership are two organizations focused on delivering quality family planning services. Planned Parenthood is more geared to family planning and contraception whereas the Healthy Families Partnership and Healthy Start offers of mix of family planning along with postnatal care. Lehmann (2005) asserted that “education and counseling are viewed as important components of family-planning services” (pg. 249) and in Hampton, with these programs, education remains a cornerstone objective of both. Lower-income women in the city of Hampton are likely to encounter one of these organizations to meet their family planning needs.
Planned Parenthood credits itself as nonprofit leading the nation in providing sexual and reproductive health care to women (Planned Parenthood). The Hampton location is one of three serving the area with the others located in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood has a stigma of only offering abortions as a means of family planning; especially to minority women. Although contraceptives are emphasized it is not the only means of birth control or family planning highlighted at the organization. Family planning services offered at Planned Parenthood fall into three categories: low-cost prenatal care, adoption agency referrals, and abortion services. These services coincide with the organizations beliefs about a family's "ability to control the timing and...

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