The Glamorization of Out-of-Wedlock Pregnancy
By Katharine DeBrecht

Does anyone see the dichotomy of Angelina and Brad going to Africa, a country that is plagued with aids, famine and out-of-wedlock pregnancy, to demonstrate that it is perfectly acceptable and even glamorous to have a baby outside of the context of marriage? Angelina and Brad, under the guise of “helping Africans”, are justifying, by example, to Africans one of the very problems that plague that nation.
Contrary to what Jolie is inadvertently or overtly portraying to young Africans, abstinence works and Uganda is a perfect example. In the early1980’s Uganda suffered from an AIDS epidemic. The government of Uganda responded by an all out ABC plan – Abstinence, Be Faithful (Monogamy), Condoms (as a last resort). Throughout the 1980s and 1990s cases of HIV decreased dramatically, and from 1991 to 2000 decreased from 21 percent to 6 percent. A 2004 Science study found that abstinence and monogamy, not condom use, contributed to the decline of HIV cases in Uganda, according to a 2004 Science study.
Adolescent births comprise of 15-20 percent of births in 11 countries in Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest levels of early childbearing in the world. Although traditional rural Africa had always promoted child-bearing as a rite of passage within the constraints of marriage or consensual union where information such as teachings of family life and child spacing were passed on from generation to generation, rapid urbanization and peer and modern influences have diminished this tradition with lack of support for marriage or the young mother. If you think it is hard to be a single mother in America, imagine the life of the single mother in Africa.PubMed, a service of The National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health, reports: “High rates of premarital sexual activity have caused notable changes in the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies in much of the developing world. In Africa, local policy makers are beginning to perceive the medical implications of these changes as the youth component of illicit abortion, maternal mortality, and sexually transmitted disease becomes more visible. Other social issues, which include school leaving, unemployment, violence and drug abuse, are emerging among the young people of Africa as elsewhere.”
It is indisputable that abstinence is the only true prevention of AIDS. What message does Jolie bring to Africa and her fans all over the world when commenting, “I need more sex. Before I die I wanna taste everyone in the world.” Jolie is hardly the poster child for abstinence who stated about her lesbian affairs, “They're right to think that about me, because I'm the person most likely to sleep with my female fans, I genuinely love other women. And I think they know that.”
Let’s take this out of Africa and to the US. According to The Family Research Council: “Unwed mothers and fathers are less likely to marry and more likely to suffer from depression and to live in poverty than are those who do not have children outside of marriage. Children born to teen mothers are more likely than other children to have lower grades, to drop out of high school, to be abused or neglected, to have a child as an unmarried teenager, and to be delinquent. Teen childbearing costs US taxpayers an estimated $7 billion each year for increased welfare, food stamps, medical care, incarceration and foster care costs, as well as lost tax revenue due to government dependency. The gross annual cost to society of unwed childbearing and its negative consequences is $29 billion, which includes the administration of welfare and foster care programs, the building and maintenance of additional prisons, as well as lower education and reduced productivity among unwed parents.”
What new “social change” which Hollywood overtly seeks, are these celebrities now promoting? One-third of births in the United States are out of wedlock. Among women under age 20, 70 percent of all births are to single mothers.
Let us review. Brad Pitt commits adultery, but that’s OK because he is a celebrity. Angelina and Brad lie about their affair but that’s OK too. Angelina and Brad consummate an out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Angelina announces to the world that she has no plans to wed Brad Pitt. Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt is born and celebrated as the wonderful product of this celebrity union Jolie was never portrayed as a home wrecker, perhaps because of her work in Africa as a Goodwill Ambassador.
Heck, Kenneth Lay of Enron did charity work. Jolie was appointed Goodwill Ambassador by the UN. Chris Janowski, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said Jolie “can naturally bring in our message to youth.” But what type of message is a woman, who has an affair with a married man, has a child out of wedlock and yet is received like royalty in Namibia, portraying to a continent that is ridden with AIDS and poverty?
We have seen the consequences of infidelity and divorce on the family and children. Children raised in a single-parent home are more likely to live in poverty, engage in premarital sex, develop substance abuse problems, perform poorly in school and commit suicide. Sixty percent of inmates in US jails were raised by a single parent. Knowing that children of single parents are at a higher risk for failure, why is Hollywood glorifying single parenthood?
So where is the outrage with the latest antics of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie? Why do we glorify an unmarried couple having a child out of wedlock, who barely seem fit as parents?”
Will the Hollywood Idology indoctrination continue to shape us, or will we stand up for the values that protect children within a context of a family?

(Katharine DeBrecht is an author of conservative children's books and a mother of three. Her first book, “Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed!” hit #1 on the Barnes & Noble website in September 2005 and was profiled by the Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and other publications. A graduate of Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, DeBrecht served as co-captain of "Security Moms for Bush" for South Carolina, where she resides with her husband and children. Her latest book is titled “Help! Mom! Hollywood's in My Hamper!”)




Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.