The mass media is a-buzz over the Alan Guttmacher Institute's "news" on teen pregnancy. Guttmacher and those who advocate free sex for teenagers seem almost gleeful as they misuse the statistics in an effort to destroy abstinence education programs and promote their condom cure-all mantra. To cause as much public panic as possible, the pro-teen-sex activists would have you believe that the teen pregnancy rate has increased across the board for all teenagers ages 13-19. But it is not so.
In their latest attempt to kill abstinence education, Guttmacher activists use sweeping statements to intentionally mislead the media and general public that they know will never peruse the full report of the latest statistics. Thank the Lord for Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation. He actually read the study (as did I) and provided analysis from a deep knowledge of what works. Rector calls their bluff when he wrote in the National Review Online, "In the decade after the federal government began its meager funding of abstinence education, teen pregnancy fell steadily. Safe-sex experts never linked that decline to abstinence education. But when the news went bad, they swiftly identified abstinence programs as the culprit."
Here are a few of the key stats missing from the Guttmacher "sound bites": When they make the sweeping statement that "teen pregnancies have increased by 3 %", what they aren't telling you is that among girls 14 years and younger, the pregnancy rate actually continues to decrease. When they say that the pregnancy rate for 15-19-year-olds has increased for the first time in a decade, what's missing is the fact that the sharp increase was actually for 18 and 19 year-olds. (Not coincidentally, that is the precise time many in that age group head to the great world of relativism and free-sex known as "college" where abstinence education is non-existent.)
After ten years of falling teen pregnancy rates that correspond to the rise in the teaching of abstinence education, there was a slight rise in teen pregnancies among 15-17 year-olds in one twelve month period - from 38.2 per thousand in 2005 to 38.9 per thousand in 2006. But such a small increase in a one-year period after a decade of success isn't enough to garner massive media attention or justify throwing abstinence education out the window, is it? So that's why they employ the hype - to make it sound as if the sky is falling.
It is critical to realize that Guttmacher, et al preach "sexual rights" for teenagers. That is their worldview, and it is what drives their policy agenda. They are not interested in reducing teen sexual activity - they want teenagers to be free to have sex yet somehow magically escape the biological consequences that often come with living a life of promiscuity. And their magic wand is the condom.
For the record, here's my worldview on the subject: If we truly love our teenagers, we will equip them to say no to sex until marriage. I believe that our teens should be absolutely free from the fear of getting pregnant, or from suffering with a sexually transmitted disease, and from the psychological and emotional trauma that comes with having out-of-wedlock sex. I believe that our young people are capable of self-discipline and great displays of maturity when they are encouraged to develop them.
I also believe that teens are getting a wee-bit tired of the "free love", aging hippies who control the pop culture, and of the Planned Parenthood/Guttmachers of the world pushing their morally bankrupt 60's self-centered lifestyle on this intelligent and thoughtful younger generation. Our teenagers know they are capable of greater things - and they are waiting for someone - anyone - to tell them that.
Let that someone be you. Recently I asked a beautiful teenage girl I know about what motivates her to remain sexually pure, she said simply, "My sense of morality, which is based on my faith and the values my mother and father have taught me." When I asked if there are any other reasons she said, "Respect. I know that I will have more respect from my peers if I uphold high standards."
There you have it in a nutshell. To learn how you can teach this superior lifestyle to your teens and encourage educators to back your efforts by using abstinence education materials in the classroom, visit www.abstinence.net.
February 22, 2010
Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family. Visit her website at www.HowToSaveYourFamily.com. where you can sign up to receive her free e-newsletter containing the Culture Challenge of the Week and how to fight back. Hagelin is also senior communications fellow for The Heritage Foundation.