“16 And Pregnant”: it’s not just an MTV reality show, it’s also America’s scary reality! A Centers for Disease Control report just came out which discovered teen pregnancy increased in recent years. Teen birth rates rose during 2006 and 2007, after having decreased from 1991 to 2005.
More scary news is the number of AIDS cases in young men. CDC data shows that between 1997 and 2006, the number of men ages 15 to 24 with AIDS increased, as well. [ABC News]One possible culprit for this bad news? I blame abstinence-only education, which teaches children little about sex, including how to use contraception. CDC data also showed, after analyzing data from 2002 to 2007, that 1/3 of teens did not learn about birth control in school before age 18.
Abstinence-only education picked up speed during the Clinton presidency, but Bush strongly supported it when he was in office. In fact, back in 2002, when he proposed increasing federal spending on abstinence-only education, President Bush told reporters, “‘Abstinence is the surest way, and the only completely effective way, to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease.” Well, no, it’s not.
Shame on all of those politicians who think not teaching young adults about sex will keep them from getting pregnant or catching STDs. Not working out so well, is it?