Quick note to abortion opponents

Quick note to abortion opponents

If you want women—and specifically teens—to have fewer abortions, provide better (read: reality-based) sex ed and give them easier access to contraceptives. 

A study in Canada, a place where sex ed goes beyond "Save it for marriage," finds that the nation’s abortion rate declined 3.2 percent in 2006. Abortions among teens dropped by almost 6 percent. The decline in teen abortions followed a 25-year decline in the teen pregnancy rate. 

And what do experts credit will the decline in teen pregnancies? Safe-sex campaigns. Someone might want to send a memo to presidential candidate John McCain.

"The teen pregnancy rates in Canada have been, and continue to be, consistently and significantly lower than both the U.K. and the United States," said [Alex McKay, of the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada]. "Typically speaking, the teen pregnancy rate in Canada is roughly half of what it is in the United States."
"One reason for that may be that poor, inner city teens in the U.S. don’t have the access to health care and education that their Canadian counterparts do."

It’s not just poor, inner-city teens in the U.S. that lack education. It’s anyone that goes to a school that receives federal funding for sex ed.


McCain the juggler: supports both abstinence-only
sex ed
while overturning Roe V. Wade

So abortion opponents, if you really, really want to prevent abortion, step up and demand an end to abstinence-only sex ed and broader access to contraception. And who knows, that might just help the 3.2 million teenage girls who have at least one sexually transmitted infection.

In fact, let’s just see where our sex ed policy has gotten us. Here are some figures from Annette Owens’ cover story, "Playing around with sex ed," that I linked to above:

In the U.S., the teen pregnancy rate is:
9 times higher than in the Netherlands
4 times higher than in France
5 times higher than in Germany

In the U.S., the teen birth rate is:
11 times higher than in the Netherlands
5 times higher than in France
4 times higher than in Germany

In the U.S., the teen abortion rate is:
8 times higher than in Germany
7 times higher than in the Netherlands
3 times higher than in France

In the U.S., the teen chlamydia rate is:
20 times higher than in France
(Data are not available for Germany and the Netherlands)

In the U.S., the teen gonorrhea rate is:
74 times higher than in the Netherlands and France
66 times higher than in the former West Germany
38 times higher than in the former East Germany

In the U.S., the teen syphilis rate is:
6 times higher than in the Netherlands
5 times higher than in the former West Germany
3 times higher than in the former East Germany
Source: Advocates for Youth