The State of Abortion Laws In Today’s America (2019)

In recent weeks the topic of abortion has made headlines around the nation. The Roe V. Wade doctrine states the following, the Supreme Court ruled that women had a constitutional right to abortion, and that this right was based on an implied right to personal privacy emanating from the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments. Specifically, several states are seeking to create and uphold anti-abortion laws while challenging the Roe decision. These states are Alabama, Arkansas, North Dakota, Georgia, Mississippi and Ohio just to name a few.

I looked at Alabama’s recently signed anti-abortion law and was absolutely shocked that Alabama’s law makers would agree to such an egregious doctrine. Here is some of the language from Alabama’s Anti-Abortion law; First, Alabama has makes abortion illegal giving this law felony status. Secondly, Alabama justifies its law with the statement from the bill itself; “Abortion advocates speak to women’s rights, but they ignore the unborn child, while medical science has increasingly recognized the humanity of the unborn child” (Gore, 2019). Medical science also refutes this statement. This portion of the law only recognizes one side of the argument. The argument is overruled because of the Roe V. Wade doctrine.

Third, “As early as six weeks after fertilization, fetal photography shows the clear development of a human being. The Alabama Department of Public Health publication “Did You Know”, demonstrates through actual pictures at two-week intervals throughout the entire pregnancy the clear images of a developing human being” (Gore, 2019) . Again, this claim is one sided. I could understand if Alabama cited several resources outside of the state, but the Alabama Department of Public Health publication cannot be a standalone reason to criminalize abortion. Most Planned Parenthood facilities are in urban neighborhoods; this bill targets minorities and seeks to criminalize them harshly. Lastly and frankly this comparison argument is a bit absurd.

Alabama’s law makers compare abortions to the Holocaust and states that abortions are the equal to the Nazi’s attempted to exterminate 6 million Jewish people (Gore, 2019). I believe this law cannot stand and must be challenge on its merits. Several states across the nation are trying to follow the same suit. This cannot be allowed. Both men and women have a huge stake in this matter. No one has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body!

Alabama law makers claim that their bill “protects” women and unborn children, but this is not true. This bill criminalizes innocent women for make decisions they are entitled to make. This bill fails to take into consideration how an abortion has an effect on the woman getting the abortion, that woman’s family and friends. The decision to get an abortion is not an easy one. Many factors go into it. This bill fails to understand the human element of abortion. As advocates against anti-abortion laws, we must continue to voice our displeasure to ensure that innocent are not place in prison for making sounded life choices.

I feel that in order to reduce the number of abortions in our communities, men must step up and take care of their children. We must also some understanding and empathy. Understanding when it concerns the possibility of being a parent whether in the household or not. Empathy when it comes to the decision of abortion and how a woman feels when making the decision and acting on it. I can image the situation being difficult emotionally, physically, and mentally.

As men, we must be there for our women during times like these. As men, we must ask ourselves how it feels to know that your unborn child will not get the chance experience life and ask ourselves if we contribute to that fact by our unwillingness to be men and parents. I believe that the best anti-abortion remedy is men willing to be dads, not just fathers. Any boy can be a father but it takes a man to be a dad.

 

Written by Troy K. Hughey- Political, Legal correspondent/Editor for AVOF

Thank you for your attention to this very important matter in our community and as always, it takes a Village!! Personally want to thank our founder Derek Bernard for granting me the opportunity to write this article.

 

References

Gore, L. (2019, May 15). Alabama abortion law passes: Read the bill. Retrieved from al.com:

https://www.al.com/news/2019/05/alabama-abortion-ban-passes-read-the-bill.html

Guardian, T. (2019, March 14). Revealed: nine more US states considering hardline anti-

abortion bills. Retrieved from The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/14/six-week-abortion-bans-faith2action

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The Delicacies of The Blended Family

The Delicacies of the Blended Family

Our feature article this week will focus on the Blended Family. A Blended Family, according to dictionary.com is “a family composed of a couple and their children from previous marriages” (Dictionary.com, 2019). In situations like this, the father is no longer with the mother and the children are forced to move on with your wife. For the first time as a father, you’re living apart from your children and must learn to deal with the challenges of co-parenting.

As previously mentioned, the Blended Family (also called a step family) is a family unit where one or both parents have children from a previous relationship, but they combined to a family. For example, the most popular blended family is from the 1970’s hit T.V. show “The Brady Bunch”, where the series revolves around a family that combined six children:

blended family pew research center

According to the Pew Research Center “Many, but not all, remarriages involve blended families. According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, six in ten (63%) women in remarriages are in blended families, and about half of these remarriages involve stepchildren who live with the remarried couple” (Kim Parker, 2015). Furthermore, “Hispanic, black and white children are equally likely to live in a blended family. About 17% of Hispanic and black kids are living with a stepparent, stepsibling or a half sibling, as are 15% of white kids. Among Asian children, however, 7% a far smaller share are living in blended families. This low share is consistent with the finding that Asian children are more likely than others to be living with two married parents, both of whom are in their first marriage” (Kim Parker, 2015).

 

The Delicacies of Structuring a Blended Family

Stepfamily Success:

Every family is unique and so is its success rate. However, studies suggest about 60 to 70 percent of marriages involving children from a previous marriage fail. This is about twice the percentage of overall marriages ending in divorce, which sits around 30 or 35 percent (Meleen, 2018). Another key to stepfamily success is part of what helps some stepfamilies be more successful rests on the children’s perceived bonds with both parents inside the home. Adolescents who believe they have strong bonds with both their own mother and their stepfather in this type of family feel a greater sense of family belonging than kids who don’t view both of these household relationships in a positive light (Meleen, 2018).

  • The role of the Step-parent: Should he or she be a disciplinarian or supporter of biological parent).
    • Tip: The two parents must acknowledge the challenge!
    • Note: the older the child gets, the harder for a step-parent to play disciplinarian (they may saying the deadly sin that no step-parent wants to hear “You are not Mother” or “You are not Father”
  • Conflict of discipline between parent & step parent. The parents should not hash out problems in front of the children. This can lead the children using that as an opportunity to divide and conquer.
    • Tip: Always speak to the other parent with respect
    • Tip: The parents must have a united front
  • Supporting children during their transition. Living between two household can tough. The transition days can tough. The children may feel resentment towards the step-parent. They feel lost in the new family structure.
    • Tip: Allow the children time to adjust to new setting

 

  • Building individual relationships are important. The step-parent should set aside with the step children. This is a chance to find common interest and create a bond with each other. This can lead to a strong foundation for a strong and loving relationship a step parent and stepchild.
    • Tip: Find activities that unify the step parent and step children can enjoy together with the rest of the family

 

A final thought from Derek Bernard:

There are many challenges that blended families face in today’s world. It takes times to blend everything together to make all the ingredients work. I can speak from my experience being part of a blended family. I have two children, one of which is from a previous relationship. In the beginning of our new family, we had our ups and downs, things were not all smooth in the beginning but with time our family is getting better. Every day is new day and new challenges await for our blended family. We will meet these challenges with great success and I wish all blended families success!

Please Note:

Since this topic is very important to many families, we will cover more articles on this very topic.

Please subscribe to our Email List, comment below, like, and share!

Remember, it takes a village!

– Derek Bernard

 

Article was written by Derek Bernard (founder, AVOF) and Troy Hughey (AVOF Editor and Law & Political

Edited by Troy Hughey (AVOF Editor and Law and Law & Political Correspondent)

 

References

Dictionary.com. (2019). Blended Family. Retrieved from Dictionary.com: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/blended-family

Kim Parker, M. R. (2015, December 17). http://www.pewresearch.org. Retrieved from Parenting in America: Outlook, worries, aspirations are strongly linked to financial situation: http://www.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2015/12/2015-12-17_parenting-in-america_FINAL.pdf

Meleen, M. (2018). Blended Family Statistics. Retrieved from family.lovetoknow.com: https://family.lovetoknow.com/co-parenting/blended-family-statistics

 

 

 

Incarceration Impacts Multiple Generations: Families Affected By Prison

Today, urban communities across the nation continue to deal with the epidemic of children of color raised in fatherless homes. Many factors contribute to single-parent households but one factor, in particular, has had a damaging effect on families of color, Mass Incarceration, and parenting from prison! The focus of this article will explain why and how urban communities arrived at this period in time and seek to find solutions to this longstanding problem.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “An estimated 809,800 prisoners of the 1,518,535 held in the nation’s prisons at mid-year 2007 were parents of minor children or children under age 18. Parents held in the nation’s prisons—52% of state inmates and 63% of federal inmates—reported having an estimated 1,706,600 minor children, accounting for 2.3% of the U.S. resident population under age 18” (Lauren E. Glaze, 2008). Additionally, “Of the estimated 74 million children in the U.S. resident population who were under age 18 on July 1, 2007, 2.3% had a parent in prison (table 2). Black children (6.7%) were seven and a half times more likely than white children (0.9%) to have a parent in prison. Hispanic children (2.4%) were more than two and a half times more likely than white children to have a parent in prison” (Lauren E. Glaze, 2008).  Additional information from the Bureau of Justice Statistics can be found in the article: “Parents in Prison and Their minor children

The following statistics were taken from The Sentencing Project: Number of Parents in Prison, 1991-2007 (Project, 2007).

  • The number of children with parents in prison increased by 80% between 1991 and 2007.
  • 1 in 15 black children, 1 in 42 Latino children, and 1 in 111 white children had a parent in prison in 2007.
  • Black children are 7.5 times more likely and Hispanic children are 2.6 times more likely than are white children to have a parent in prison.

Here is a listing of some of the opportunities missed as a direct result of Mass Incarceration (Project, 2007).

  • Compared with the general population, parents in prison are more likely to have problems that may place children at risk for social and emotional problems
  • 9% of parents in prison were homeless in the year before the arrest leading to their current imprisonment.
  • 20% were physically or sexually abused prior to their imprisonment.
  • 38% do not have a high school diploma or GED.
  • 41% have infectious medical problems (including tuberculosis, hepatitis, HIV, and sexually transmitted diseases).2 o 57% have current mental health problems.

How we got to this point

In 1971, former U.S. President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs. The connection between crime, drugs, and race are very significant. In the 1970s, African-American was arrested 2x times as much as Caucasian Americans. Since the inception of the War of Drugs, African-Americans have been arrested 5x more than their Caucasian counterparts. Ironically, on average, Caucasian people commit more crimes than their African American counterpart. This revelation comes from the unfair drug sentencing laws target African Americans.  In 1986, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act was signed into law by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. “This act mandated a minimum sentence of 5 years without parole for possession of 5 grams of crack cocaine while it mandated the same for possession of 500 grams of powder cocaine. This 100:1 disparity was reduced to 18:1, when crack was increased to 28 grams” (Wikipedia, 2017).

In 1994, former U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the 1994 Crime Bill in the law which, expanded the death penalty, encouraged states to lengthen prison sentences, and eliminated federal funding for inmate education. The Crime Bill also created longer mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug crimes, unjustly targeted to Blacks and Hispanics offenders. African-Americans and Hispanics were more likely than white people to be stopped by police.  In addition, the 1996 Welfare to Work Program, forcing mothers to work for their government benefits. Due to the increase of more fathers in prison and mothers having being forced to work, children were left with no alternative to parenting other than to raise themselves which them to be more susceptible gang activity and street violence. Conclusively, the anti-drug and crime laws created a revolving door between poverty and prison.

I am convinced the “War on Drugs” in 1971, “Anti-Drug Abuse Act” in 1986 and the “1994 Crime Act” all played a symbolic role in the mass incarceration of American citizens; particularly in the African-American and Hispanic communities. Our homes are broken and in desperate need of repair due to the absence of the male figure in our homes. Our mothers are forced to play both roles but every boy and girl needs to be in a two-parent household. I encourage fathers to play a bigger role in their children’s lives in the community surrounding them. The better our fathers become, the better the communities will be.

Article was written by Derek Bernard (founder, AVOF) and Troy Hughey (AVOF Editor and  Law & Political Correspondent)

 

Please subscribe to our Email List, comment below, like, and share!

Remember, it takes a village!

– Derek Bernard

 

 

References

Lauren E. Glaze, L. M. (2008). Parents in Prison and Their Minor Children. U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs.

The project, T. S. (2007). Parents in Prison. Washington D.C.: The Sentencing Project.

Wikipedia. (2017). Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. Retrieved from wikipedia.org: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Drug_Abuse_Act_of_1986

Listen The AVOF Father 2 Father Conference Calls via YouTube

The topics discussed during this call by the fathers were:

Note: 2 mothers joined our conference call

  • What was you father like? (how did the relationship you have with your father, influence how you view parenthood)
  • Investing in your children’s future (life insurance, banking/investments, college plan and more)
  • Time vs Money (Whats more important to you….more time with children and less money OR more money and less time with you??????????????

Continue reading “Listen The AVOF Father 2 Father Conference Calls via YouTube”

What Was Your Father Like Pt. 2

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“What Was Your Father Like” Part II

Over the years I’ve observed a lot of parents try to fill voids in their childhood by recreating with their children what they wish their parent’s had created with themselves.

A lot of times parents attempt to help their children by giving them lots of material things, because they felt they missed out, by not having it themselves. This can create a reverse effect of what parents are actually hoping to achieve.

For instance, My father didn’t buy me the sneakers I wanted growing up. Therefore I will buy my children all the latest sneakers to hit market.

There are many ways to evaluate and reflect on this circumstance that leads to a healthy impact on your parenting skills.

Everyone has a different experience with their father. Here is a few things we can reflect on:

  • A. What your father did or didn’t do.
  • B. How your father made you feel.
  • C. How can you recreate that experience in your parenting relationships with your children?
  • D. How you can reverse a negative effect, so your children have a positive and healthy relationship with you.

 

Feel free to like and comment below. We would like to hear your thoughts and views on “How was your father”

Click the link to read “How was your father” pt.1

4 Reasons and Other Factors Why Dads Are Important (Too)!!!!!

Moms are nurtures and create the foundation, with love and care. They are also the backbone of the family. However, DADS are important too, and here is a few fun facts

1 – New fathers involvement and caring for their child in the first days of child’s life can have a positive long-term benefits

2 – Higher quality father-daughter relationships is a positive factor against engagement in risky sexual behaviors.

3 – Fathers are critical to the emotional welfare of their children; they are caretakers and disciplinarians.

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4 – An active father provides an important foundation for his children and their ongoing security, stability and development

 

Here are more factors about fatherhood: 

Source: https://www.fatherhood.org/fatherhood-data-statistics

Mothers are no more important than fathers in a child’s life. There are numerous of reasons for men to be absent in their children lives, however, a father’s presence can have a major positive impact on his children. We are taking road to encourage men to be involved more in their children lives.

We would like to hear more reasons from why fathers are important too. Feel free to hit the like button and comment below….

 

Please subscribe to our Email List, comment below, like, and share!

Remember, it takes a village!

– Derek Bernard

 

What Was Your Father Like? (part 1 of 2)

Everyone can attest to their own experiences with their father. No two relationships are alike.

How great of an impact would you say your father-son relationship has made on your views of fatherhood?

If I had to describe my father, I would say that he is a pretty cool guy. Many like his style, he’s sharp, articulate, well dressed, and smooth and very likable.

He is definitely the type of guy women marvel, and love to bring home to meet their parents. I could even go as far to say that in the eyes of a log of women, he’d make the perfect guy to marry, have children with and live happily ever after.

Unfortunately the potential that I just described above never fully meet my father. He became lost in the street life of drugs and crime. My father’s struggle has robbed him of living his fullest life that I know and believe he is well capable of.

I can recall my father in and out of prison for most of my life. All the prison stints have robbed me and my father of many father/son moments. I emphasize with my dad, I know that he has a desire to be a better parent, however, the bad decisions he’s made has continually forced us apart.

I can recall countless times being asked growing “when is your father coming home from jail”. Still to this day I am often asked if my father is home yet. It has become the normal conversation revolving around my dad.

We all have different experiences that shake our relationships with our fathers.
I think that as children we have these innocent perceptions of our fathers as supermen, until that innocence encounters some sort of disappointment.

We can’t blame children for this, after all fathers are the first men children encounter. Fathers set the example of what a man is supposed to be.

I honestly believe this has a huge effect on how we look at parenting in life as well.

We choose to see the best qualities in our fathers and we choose to discard the not so good ones. Feel free to leave a comment below and share your relationship with your father and how great of an impact would you say your father-son relationship has made on your views of fatherhood?

Click the link to read  “How was your father” pt. 2

 

Please subscribe to our Email List, comment below, like, and share!

Remember, it takes a village!

– Derek Bernard