Adding fuel to the recent public debate about the higher-than-average abortion rate for African Americans is a special that aired on MTV last week. "No Easy Decision" was a spinoff of the cable network's popular 16 and Pregnant series.
The special follows 16 and Pregnant alum Markai as she struggles with the decision to have an abortion after unexpectedly becoming pregnant for the second time.
Unlike some who use abortion as a form of birth control, Markai and her boyfriend claim they were using contraception when she became pregnant again.
"I just never knew [the Depo-Provera] ran out," Markai recalls. "They give you a time limit to get the shot again. [It's] like days-days, so I thought I had time. I guess not."
"No Easy Decisions" does not glamorize abortion, if anything it shows how much of a gut-wrenching decision deciding to terminate a pregnancy can be. The show takes an in-depth look at the outcomes of unplanned pregnancies and shows Markai researching her options. During the show she consults her partner, James, her friends, her mom and several counselors. She does not come to the decision to terminate her pregnancy lightly, and the show captures the gravity of the situation.
Despite her apprehension, Markai and James ultimately decide to go through with the abortion because they do not want their daughter, one-year-old Za'karia, to suffer because of the financial burden involved in raising two children. In the special, Markai says that no one is ever "pro-abortion," but sometimes women "have to do what's right" in order to be a responsible adult.
SOURCE: Clutch Magazine
It's important to point out that while the stats for our community are troubling, black teens aren't the only ones getting abortions, and in fact, Markai was joined in a post-show discussion by two young white women who talked about their own decisions (as you can see in the clip below).
That being said, it's clear we have to do a better job of educating our young women about contraception and abstinence. It's hard to fathom how the subject of a reality show about the consequences of an unintended pregnancy, for whom that pregnancy was life-altering, would not find out everything there is to know about the medication she was taking to prevent it from happening again. Perhaps the real education that needs to take place is how to make informed decisions.