where pregnancy prevention alone allows women to exercise independent control, use of condoms requires women to exercise control over the behavior of men. So we are even given tips on how to communicate effectively with our partners to convince them to wear condoms. And one of the few new advances in reproductive technology in the 1990s is the female condom which, at a cost of about $3 each is even less effective than the male condom and is probably the least effective contraceptive device option available (AIDS in black America, 1995; Mitchell, 1995).
So are these reproductive rights? The low-dosage Pill, contraceptive implants and injectables, and the female condom all represent advances in allowing reproductive self-determination. But it would be nice to see increased advances in male contraceptive technology, even if we can't control their use to our benefit.
And do we even need our own voice, a separate voice? Perhaps abortion as an issue has not resonated as clearly in the black community because we need a voice less for reproductive limitation. We seek voices for our true reproductive choice--voices affirming our right to responsibly bear children or not bear children. I think it is imperative that this voice must always insert the word responsible in the conversation, for it neither advances us as individuals nor as a people to reproduce without consideration for ensuring that our fruit has the best chance to become filled with pride and to receive opportunities for greater success than that of any generation before them. So who speaks for the African-American woman? I say it's our progeny--and the fact that they speak to us is more important than who speaks for us.
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"Birth control pill turns 35 years old". ( 1995). Jet, 88 (2), 16.
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