One of our daughters was born with a full head of hair. At a very young age, she would tug on her tresses and yell from the self-inflicted pain. In the eyes of two doting parents, it was sad, though not without a tinge of humor.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that the number of women seeking medical intervention to get pregnant is increasing. Almost a quarter of childless women in the 40-44 age group sought services to help them conceive. While the survey was conducted from June 2006 to June 2010, my guess is that the statistics are trending even higher today.
The largest bump in seeking medical aid is that of women between the ages of 35 and 44. Would you be surprised to find that many of them are white, well-educated and have above average incomes?
At the same time statistics for 2008 show that 746,530 women girls younger than twenty got pregnant. Some pregnancies ended in in miscarriages, many were terminated through abortion, while almost 450,000 of these ended in live in births. I think it safe to assume that even recognizing that some of the babies born were released for adoption, and a small minority was born to married women with committed and loving husbands, the overwhelming majority is starting life with great handicaps. Their mothers are ill equipped to provide for their physical or psychological needs and the baby’s presence portends a more difficult time for these girls in overcoming their own lives’ handicaps. Would you be surprised to find that many of these mothers are African-Americans, don’t have high school diplomas, and have below average incomes?
The members of these two groups probably rarely meet. Yet they have a great deal in common. Certainly not all, but many of them were swept up in cultural trends. They are victims of misguided public policies, foolish social mores and a breach of sadly, uncommon, common sense. The entertainment industry peddled lies to them, the educational system betrayed them (whether at an Ivy League University or at an inner city school), psychologists and sociologists misled them and politicians used them for personal gain.
The challenges these women face in trying to mother a healthy family are worlds apart. Yet, tragically, the steps that led to facing overwhelming obstacles in doing so were largely self-inflicted. Unlike our daughter who finally made the connection between pulling her hair and the resulting pain, their problems won’t easily disappear.
Special Pricing This Week!
Can you rise above a genetic and cultural legacy?
Are prophetic words playing out in Europe and the Middle East?