Teen Pregnancy And The Case for Abstinence

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Teen pregnancy rates are up and abstinence only programs are not working. It's time to teach young people to take responsibility and respect female teenagers.

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When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in December that the teen birth rate in 2006 had increased by 3 percent over 2005, reversing a 15-year trend in which it had decreased, the finger-pointing began. And in many media outlets, the fingers were pointed squarely at abstinence education.

To pick one example, a New York Times reporter wrote that the finding "fueled the debate about whether the Bush administration's abstinence-only education efforts were working." The president of Planned Parenthood assured the Times that it isn't.

Given the fact that abstinence-only education has been around for years and that this big change was sudden, it seems legitimate to ask if the right suspect has been fingered. And if abstinence-only education isn't responsible, then what is? A case can be made that the culprit is something its supporters claim is the answer to unwanted pregnancies and abortions: Plan B,

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