Meg Burd’s column, “Not quite a ringing endorsement for abstinence education,” published March 6, states, “It is time the U.S. government needs to take off the silver ring and work on promoting education that could possibly save lives.”
Abstinence education is one of our government’s goals. The society is being faced with the large issue of dealing with teen pregnancy. In a report taken in 1995, 53.1 percent of high school students reported having sexual intercourse. The same study was conducted in 1999, and the numbers fell to 49.9 percent.
Our government needs to continue to educate our youth about sex and its repercussions, but abstinence should be the base of the education.
“The federal government currently provides $100 million annually to support ‘abstinence-only until marriage’ education programs,” says Human Rights Watch.
The question is how much we are saving by having these abstinence programs. A single teen birth costs more than $18,000. Now, how many teen births does the United States have a year? In 2003 the birth rate for teenaged mothers was 414,961, down from 425,493 in 2002. Let’s do the math: 414,961 x $18,000 per/birth = $7,469,298,000. WOW!!!
Now our government is only spending $100 million to prevent this and look at the statistics – they are going down. We need to fight harder to teach abstinence to our youth because they are listening to us.
Health and Exercise Science