The Poor Will Suffer

Rochester, NY

Nearly half of all children in Rochester live in poverty, second-highest rate in the nation. ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Nearly half of all children in Rochester live in poverty according to the U.S Census Bureau. That ranks second highest in the nation of areas with a population of 100,000 or more.Mar 28, 2022

In spite of all the money in Rochester, our city children are suffering. I have spent the last ten years working in a city church and I have seen the results of this poverty. A two year old child came to our food shelf in a stroller totally listless and glassy eyed. I could go on.

Birth Control Pills vary in cost from $0 – $50 per month depending on if you qualify for assistance. They also require a prescription which means you have to have time to go to the doctor and money to pay the doctor. If women can get to a Planned Parenthood, they can help women prevent pregnancies. But Planned Parenthood locations are disappearing.

It’s always the poor that suffer. People with means can go to a doctor, get prescriptions, and travel if they need an abortion to a state that provides it. People who are living on the edge, just trying to provide food for their families are way more likely to experience an unwanted pregnancy because they haven’t been able to afford birth control that might have prevented it. Now there is no help.

I am pro choice not pro abortion. I have given birth to three children. I know what it’s like to be pregnant and to raise children. I have been a single mother. Luckily, I have always had enough money to meet my needs and those of my children. Why? Because I had the advantage of a great education and a middle class upbringing. I didn’t have to endure the trauma of poverty, the ravages of a drugged out parent, or a society that created an environment that took away any chance of getting ahead.

I have heard countless stories from people stuck in the cycle of poverty. One woman told me how she had been sexually abused by her Uncle. Her father was in jail and her mother was a drug addict. He got her pregnant at 14, 16 and 17. When she found out she was pregnant the third time she ran away with two kids (both with special needs) and had an abortion. She lived in shelters and worked menial jobs since she didn’t have a high school education until she met a woman who took her under her wing and helped her get on her feet. A third child at 18 would have made me suicidal she told me. When I got pregnant the third time, I realized I had to get out. I knew I could not have a third child.

I know I am not going to convince anyone who is pro life to become pro choice. However, I do wonder if those who are adamantly pro life are out helping those women who will be forced to have a child they don’t want and can’t afford. What will life be like for these children?

I will be out campaigning for a woman’s right to choose just like I will continue to work for gun control and worker’s rights.

I will also continue to support the programs for children in Rochester. How can we just standby with half of our cities children living in poverty???????

Published by Julie Cicora

I'm an Episcopal Priest that loves using knitting as a spiritual discipline.

5 thoughts on “The Poor Will Suffer

  1. Amen! And well said. I didn’t know it had gotten so bad in Rochester. I called that area my home in the 80s and 90s. In fact, my daughter was born at Strong Memorial and I lived on South Ave. It’s a shame that in this day and age that anyone believes they should make uniformed, controlling and life threatening decisions on another human simply because of her gender. Where are the controls on males that who repeatedly are responsible for creating children but do not support and care for them. If they don’t help take care of their children should these ‘fathers’ be neutered?

    I chose when to stop using birth control and to get pregnant. My child is a gift I treasure. I don’t want her and my granddaughter controlled by the government in caring for their bodies. Women have struggled and come far from being considered property of our family or husband’s, loosing our voice for how our body and life is treated just cannot be accepted.


  2. I live in the UK where you go to a private clinic for abortions and have contraceptive’s available on the National Health Service.

    Imagine if every man had a vasectomy at 16 and his sperm frozen. He then needed a permit to start a family.

    This winter is also going to be hard on families as food prices increase and fuel bills are doubling here.


  3. It occurs to me that most of the people reading here probably have time for contemplating and time and money for knitting. I certainly had enough money in the past to build up a stash of yarn. We are most likely to be white humans lliving above the poverty line. What actions can we take that would make life more equitable in Rochester and around the world. This is not about abortion – it’s about keeping poor people, mostly IBPOC poor and serving white people as Representative Miller so nicely said. Something I am thinking about.


    1. How do you do that practically? I’m looking for ideas. My biggest task at this time is to decolonize and “un-white” my faith. This is a process that has taken me 5 years and I am still not very far into it. I see groups on Ravelry making blankets for specific Indigenous reserves, but I want to do more.


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