Interview by AOL's Parent Dish--me and the President of Planned Parenthood about teen pregnancy. What didn't come out in the article is that I AM for abstinence education.
After a long period of decline, teen pregnancy rates are on the rise again and experts say that abstinence-only programs, the media and absent parents are to blame.
A Jan. 26 report from the New York-based Guttmacher Institute reveals that the pregnancy rate among 15- to 19-year-olds rose three percent in 2005-2006, the first increase in more than a decade. The nonpartisan think tank looked at its own data and that of the federal government to determine that more teens are getting pregnant now than since before the 1990s.
What's causing the jump? According to Guttmacher, it was the focus on abstinence-only programs that began in the early 2000s, which were prohibited by law from including contraception information. As a result, teens' use of contraceptives declined.
The report "should serve as a wake-up call to anyone who still believes that teenagers aren't sexually active or that abstinence-only programs curb the rate of teen pregnancy," said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in an email interview with ParentDish. "Over the course of a decade, federal and state governments have spent $1.5 billion on abstinence-only programs. It is a tragedy that we are witnessing an increase in the number of teens who are getting pregnant, especially when we know what works -- medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education that gives young people the tools to make responsible decisions about their health."
The best tool in a parent's arsenal, she adds, is communication. "Studies show that the best way to prevent teen pregnancy is to provide teens with honest, accurate information."
Tricia Goyer is an author and speaker who works with teen moms on a weekly basis, and she knows of what she speaks. She became pregnant with her eldest son, Cory, now 20, when she was a high-school senior. Goyer, author of "Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom," says there are two other key factors in play when it comes to the increase in teen pregnancy: Absent parents and the media.
"Parents today live busy lives," she says. "They aren't taking the time to build close-knit relationships with their kids. Many, many young women are also growing up without fathers. I believe this leaves a hole in the hearts of teens. They are yearning for love that they don't have at home and look for it in each other."
Goyer points out that glamorizing teen pregnancy on TV and in the movies only serves to teach young women -- and men -- that engaging in sexual activity has very few real consequences.
Read the rest here!
After read the rest and watch the short video - come back here and let me know what you think.