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Teen Pregnancies Are Up – Bush’s Fault!

From the front page of the Washington Post:


Teen Birth Rate Rises in U.S., Reversing a 14-Year Decline

By Rob Stein
Thursday, December 6, 2007; A01

After falling steadily for more than a decade, the birth rate for American teenagers jumped last year, federal health officials reported yesterday, a sharp reversal in what has been one of the nation’s most celebrated social and public health successes.

The birth rate rose by 3 percent between 2005 and 2006 among 15-to-19-year-old girls, after plummeting 34 percent between 1991 and 2005, the National Center for Health Statistics reported.

“This is concerning,” said Stephanie J. Ventura, who heads the center’s reproductive statistics branch. “It represents an interruption of 14 years of steady decline. Now unexpectedly we have an increase of 3 percent, which is a significant increase.”

Ventura said it is too soon to know whether the increase was an aberration or the beginning of a trend. But she said the magnitude of the rise, especially after many years of decline, is worrisome.

This early warning should put people on alert to look at the programs that are being used to see what works,” Ventura said.

While experts said it was unclear what may be causing the reversal, the new data reignited debate about abstinence-only sex-education programs, which receive about $176 million a year in federal funding. Congress is currently debating whether to increase that by $28 million.

“The United States is facing a teen-pregnancy health-care crisis, and the national policy of abstinence-only programs just isn’t working,” said Cecile Richard, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “It is time for everyone who cares about teenagers to start focusing on the common-sense solutions that will help solve this problem.”

But proponents of abstinence education defended the programs, blaming the rise on the ineffectiveness of conventional sex-education programs that focus on condom use and other contraceptives, as well as the pervasive depiction of sexuality in the culture…

This summer, however, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the long decline in teenage sexual activity appeared to have stalled nationally, raising fears that it could presage an increase in teen births…

The increase was greatest among black teens, whose birth rate rose 5 percent between 2005 and 2006, reaching 63.7 per 1,000 teens. That was particularly disappointing because black teens had previously made the greatest gains, with the rate among 15-to-17-year-olds dropping by more than half…

Something tells me this is the real reason for the article:

While experts said it was unclear what may be causing the reversal, the new data reignited debate about abstinence-only sex-education programs, which receive about $176 million a year in federal funding. Congress is currently debating whether to increase that by $28 million.

Isn’t it refreshing to see people suddenly start worry about Congressional spending? Of course it is only because it is an “abstinence” program.

“The United States is facing a teen-pregnancy health-care crisis, and the national policy of abstinence-only programs just isn’t working,” said Cecile Richard, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “It is time for everyone who cares about teenagers to start focusing on the common-sense solutions that will help solve this problem.”

Er, the problem seemed to be being reversed for the last 14 years. Is Planned Parenthood suffering from a lack of abortion clients?

By the way, how much funding does Planned Parenthood get from the US government?

(Hint: Planned Parenthood receives almost a third of its money in government grants and contracts. These totaled more than $305.3 million for FY 2006.)

But proponents of abstinence education defended the programs, blaming the rise on the ineffectiveness of conventional sex-education programs that focus on condom use and other contraceptives, as well as the pervasive depiction of sexuality in the culture.

No kidding.

Just compare a typical MTV video from 1991 (as reprehensible as they were) to those of today.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, December 6th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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