HBCU Writers's Project
For Immediate Release
March 29, 2012
Contact Information

Courtney Bledsoe
Florida A&M University

(BPRW) Obama's Birth Control Mandate Ruffles Feathers

(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) – Rush Limbaugh is under fire after the conservative radio talk show host called a Georgetown Law School student, Sandra Fluke, a “slut and prostitute” for supporting President Obama’s birth control policy.

Many feel that Obama has crossed the lines between church and state with topics of abortion, contraceptives and women’s rights, which have been controversial issues for decades. The topic is once again rearing its head after Obama presented his contraceptive policy to the senate. The president has been ruffling feathers with the policy which concerns employers providing contraceptive services to their female employees, including religious institutions.

“I don’t think these companies should have to provide coverage,” says Charley Braynen, a Florida Atlantic University graduate. “It’s ridiculous that these companies have to shell out extra funds for their employees’ habits.”

The abortion rate in the U.S. have been on a consistent decline overall, but African American women are still finding themselves among the highest numbers of women receiving abortions. Despite income levels, African American women still have high abortion rates in comparison to both Hispanic and white women.

The only exceptions are women below the poverty line. In that category, Hispanic women have a higher abortion rate that blacks. Because unintended pregnancies are three times more likely in the black community, there are disproportionate numbers amongst black women, which makes them more likely to seek out abortion services.

Since the Supreme Court case of Roe vs. Wade in 1973, more than 13 million abortions have taken place in the black community. The Roe vs. Wade case was a landmark decision passed by the Supreme Court giving women the choice to have an abortion without fear of legal repercussions. “Women should be allowed to do what we want,” said Amelia Jones, a senior political science student at Florida State University. “Who are others to tell us what we can and can not do?”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the abortion rate for women of color is five times that of white women. Currently, 37 percent of all abortions are obtained by black women compared to 30 percent by white women, and the rest are obtained by other races such as Asians, Latinas, Native Americans and women of mixed races. Obama’s policy would require that insurance companies provide FDA-approved contraceptives, including abortifacients which are contraceptives that abort the unborn child in its earliest stages of development.

“I definitely think contraceptives should be covered,” said Kim Baker, a third-year education student at Florida A&M University. “At least $9.00-$30.00 a month gets annoying. I could definitely use the money towards other bills.”