In these times of wars, special prosecutors and political lies, we look everywhere for really good news.
Both government surveys and the Guttmacher Institute report a steep decline in teenage pregnancies. Experts say this reflects a significant increase in sex education and the use of effective contraceptives.
“We’ve made great strides as young people are better informed,” said the CEO of Power to Decide, a nonpartisan nonprofit that has been at the forefront of this education for a quarter century. Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley says an effort. (This was formerly known as the “Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy,” but was renamed several years ago to reflect its expanded commitment to protecting abortion rights.)
We still have a long way to go. Sex Education Needs National Standards — Why is a 15-year-old in Mississippi less informed than a 10-year-old in California? There are still too many inequalities for teens. “But we know how to do it,” says obstetrician Dr. McDonald Mosley.
America has come a long way since President Clinton declared teenage pregnancy to be a moral issue in his 1995 State of the Union address.
Today, there is overwhelming support for both sex education for teens in public schools and easy access to the best contraceptive methods.
Groups such as Power to Decide and state, local, and federal governments disseminate information effectively. The number of girls in her teens who have sex has decreased slightly, and girls who have sex are using more effective protective devices such as intrauterine devices and contraceptive implants.
One of the keys to success is going where teens are: social media, entertainment, teen magazines, movies. Power to Decide partners with MTV, teen magazines and TLC Music to promote safe sex.
For all progress, there could be more if it weren’t for resistance from some conservative circles.
Study after study shows that these programs do not work. They “disguise abstinence-only messages as ‘sexual risk avoidance’ and deny necessary information about their bodies, reproductive health, sexuality, and even life-saving information,” according to the Guttmacher Institute. reported and concluded that abstinence-only sex education was “harmful and harmful.” has no effect. The Kaiser Family Foundation reached the same conclusion.
And further push for sex education is likely to become entwined in the current battle for parental participation in high school education. Usually yes. However, there are exceptions. Most importantly, provide young people with the best information possible.
Before the Republican Party lurched to the right, this was a bipartisan issue. The driving force behind the Campaign to End Teenage Pregnancy was former Republican Governor Tom Keane of New Jersey. His son was a little bummed about the issue during the election, but he just got elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In her second term, Rep. Nancy Mace (RS.C.) called on Republicans to focus on contraception over abortion.
We need more Republicans like Mace and Governor Keane.
I need to do more. Teenage pregnancy rates remain high, especially among non-whites, which has nearly doubled. Although the data is a little dated, her teenage pregnancy rate in the United States remains higher than in most other developed countries.
Government needs to be strengthened more effectively. States should eliminate non-functioning abstinence-only sex education programs. At the federal level, there are effective measures, the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) and the Individual Responsibility Education Program (PREP), which provide useful research and comparative analysis on the effectiveness of sex education programs. They are worth a lot more money.
This will meet with fierce resistance, but as advocated by Dr. McDonald Mosley, we need sex education and national standards for access to the best birth control.
This is not primarily a matter of state rights or budgets. This is a moral question about investing in the human capital of the future.
Al Hunt is the former Editor-in-Chief of Bloomberg News. Previously, he was a reporter, bureau chief and editor in Washington for The Wall Street Journal. For nearly a quarter of a century, he wrote columns on politics for The Wall Street Journal, The International New York Times, and The Bloomberg View. He hosts the Political Warfare Room with James Carville. follow him on twitter @Alhant DC.