Thursday, December 06, 2007

Teen Birth Rate Increases: What about abstinence?

From the New York Times:

Teen birth rates are up for the first time in more than 15 years. What does this mean? Well, it means that there is either more pregnancy overall or that a greater proportion of pregnant teens are choosing to give birth instead of having an abortion or, perhaps, a spontaneous miscarriage. means that when they are told that questions about birth control are totally off limits in their abstinence-only sex ed class they aren't learning how to avoid getting pregnant.

But don't listen to me--listen to the "expert" at the Heritage Foundation, Robert Rector:

Robert Rector, a senior research fellow with the Heritage Foundation, said that blaming abstinence-only programs was “stupid.” Mr. Rector said that most young women who became pregnant were highly educated about contraceptives but wanted to have babies.

Right. Now listen to a real expert, my advisor at Columbia, John Santelli:

Teenage birth rates are driven by rates of sex, contraception and abortion. In the 1990s, teenage sex rates dropped and condom use rose because teenagers were scared of AIDS, said Dr. John S. Santelli, chairman of the department of population and family health at Columbia University.

And let's hear from Rector one more time:

Mr. Rector of the Heritage Foundation said that teenage and unmarried birth rates were driven by the same factors: young women with little education who are devoted to mothering but see no great need to be married.

Apparently they have "little education" overall but manage to be "highly educated" about birth control methods which they just choose not to use. Way to go, Heritage Foundation.

Rector is an idiot--why not send him an email and tell him so?

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