Former Obama Faith Adviser Joshua DuBois On How The Black Church Can Help Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies

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When the Black church gets involved with issues it is “not supposed to” get involved with, great things tend to happen.

In the 1940s and 50’s, leaders in the Black church decided that they had had enough of Jim Crow and discrimination throughout the south. Some folks said that these warriors for justice should stick to just preaching the Bible—but they responded that it was in fact the Bible that called them to fight for change. So these clergy, lay leaders, and everyday believers—from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to Rosa Parks, to Fannie Lou Hamer, and many more—used church sanctuaries and fellowship halls as the convening ground for the fight for civil rights.

In the 1980s, Black church leaders once again broke the mold and were are the forefront of organizing the American people—and the African American community in particular—to oppose the apartheid regime in South Africa. There were those who said the church should “mind its business” and focus on domestic concerns. But these efforts continued and strengthened, and Black church leaders were a critical component of Apartheid’s eventual collapse.

Today, around the country, we and other leaders in the Black church are raising our voices on so many issues, from criminal justice reform to climate change and many more in between. The church is combining prophetic preaching and discipleship with powerful advocacy. And we are seeing results in arenas from small communities to states and federal agencies.

Rates of teen and unplanned pregnancy have declined in recent years—especially among Black teens and young adults—but there is more work to do. Teen pregnancy among African-American teen girls has fallen 49% in the past decade and 73% since peaking in 1991, but there are still 32 births per 1,000 teen girls, which is still far too high.

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SOURCE: The Huffington Post – Joshua DuBois