Our Issues: Healthy Pregnancies, Parenting, and Young Latina Health

three young women - one pregnant, one carrying a baby and a sign, one in a soccer uniform with a ballWhat's The Real Problem?

As part of the reproductive justice community, we share a set of values that we believe will allow all persons to live their lives freely and in good health; we value sexual freedom, integrity of the body and personal autonomy, and we reject any system of reproductive coercion. In fact, a key aspect of reproductive justice is advocating for all persons to be able to make the reproductive decisions that they feel are best for them, and to eliminate all the systems that create barriers to these decisions being made freely. Because we share these justice values, we believe it is important to change the discourse surrounding young motherhood and the policies meant to address the issues young mothers face.

More specifically, the current discourse surrounding young motherhood is both stigmatizing and insensitive, and presents young motherhood as a problem in itself as opposed to the real problems that often surround it, such as poverty and lack of access to timely and high-quality health care services and educational opportunities. Latinas do not report having sex more than white women, but are at higher risk for pregnancy because they have significantly lower rates of contraceptive use. This disparity in contraceptive use is based not on simple preference, but is closely connected to social and economic inequity. What’s the real problem?

Resources

NLIRH White paper on Healthy Pregnancies

What's the Real Problem? Toolkit for Action

What's the Real Problem? Poster

Huffington Post: Policies to curb teen pregnancy have the opposite affect

NY Times: “Room for Debate”

El Diario: Liza Fuentes, Bristol Palin y la abstinencia

Links

Healthy Teen Network

Advocates for Youth

TeenWire

SIECUS

ChoiceUSA

Center for American Progress: Parenting with Dignity Series

Adolescence Directory On-Line

Coalition for Positive Sexuality*

Pro-Choice Public Education Project