Today the NYT published what I consider a somewhat decent and empathetic picture of extreme poverty in America. However, Kristof seems to have a blind spot for issues of consent...

Consider a 17-year-old we met in Tulsa., Okla., Nataly Ledesma, who became pregnant the summer after sixth grade at age 13 by a 28-year-old man.

“I had never heard of condoms or birth control,” she said. “By the time I took ‘family health’ class in ninth grade, my baby was almost 2.”

If she had had early sex education and access to birth control, she said, she probably would not have become pregnant.

Apparently a 28 year old man preying on a 13 year old and impregnating her is an issue of sex ed, NOT an issue of rape. Like, yes, Sex Ed is SO important and can help women end the cycle of poverty that starts with an unintended pregnancy, but can we please call a rape a rape? This 28 year old should be locked up because a 13 year old CANNOT consent to sex period. End of story.

Not to mention that sexual abuse is rampant among children in these circumstances, because they are vulnerable and don’t have a support system in place. Kristof missed an opportunity to bring these issues to light, in favor of advocating for birth control.