I'm not singling this comment out because it opposes the majority, but because my response requires more than the space provided in the comments section. And BTW, I like to have good natured debate here on the blog.
Ok. I'll bite. I come from a 3rd world country and have been living in the US for only 4 years so this may come off as being ignorant.But let's start with... how about stop having babies until you can provide a stable environment for your child? I understand the first one. Everyone makes mistakes. But shouldn't one learn from them? When you can't provide/secure a safe and warm place for your 4-year old daughter, then why are you having more kids?It's not like birth control is hard to come by. One can get them for free at planned parenthood or at the public health office. Maybe get some family planning counselling while you're at it. I guess I don't get it. The United States may not be the land of milk and honey as, we 3rd worlders think it is but it sure does provide one with a lot of opportunities to get back on your feet. Or at least not commit the same mistakes over and over and over.
I don't think your opinion has anything to do with being from a third world country, as many of American born and bred feel this exact same way. As a matter of fact, so did I, until I kept talking with these women and learned their stories. People fail to look at details that we, as secure and middle and upper class citizens, couldn't consider only because such details don't exist in our lives.
Specifically regarding the 27 year old in the post below, access to birth control wasn't as easy as one would think. First, she was ineligible for Medicaid in our state. Therefore, she couldn't afford care, even the reduced fee at an area clinic. So, even though Walmart (there is one locally) has two birth control pills on their $4 list of prescriptions, she couldn't afford the visit in which to get the prescription. The closest Planned Parenthood is about 30 miles away in a city where the public transportation in her city did not have routes to. And out public health department does not provide free birth control.
I guess the next logical thought would be to tell her to just not have sex, because there are no other options for her to protect against pregnancy. But, do we really have a right to tell people this? Certainly, as clinicians, we should counsel that abstinance is the only 100% effective method of birth control, and I think most people who have brain cells that rub together know this. Or perhaps she could have used a calender based method (commonly known as the rhthym method) but the most accurate ways require learning differences in cervical mucous, taking your temperature with a basal body thermometer every morning, and graphing your assessments daily. This is harder than it appears and not everyone can do it accurately. Not to mention that many people don't know of any of these methods so they wouldn't even know they could go to the library and read about it for free, let alone pay for an appointment to be counseled by a clinician. And even for those who use calender methods of birth control, the failure rate within the first year is about 25%.
There are so many different unique situations that have aspects that are barriers to these women. We can't start making the assumption that she should "just get on birth control" or "just stop having kids". I look at it the same way I look at women in domestic violence relationships. Many would say "just leave", but its not as easy as that.