Illinois action blog

Friday, January 9, 2009

CDC Study Reveals Rise in Teen Birth Rate

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report showing that teen birth rates have increased in over one-half of states. This data is alarming, but not surprising given the bad policies of the Bush Administration on women's health care - specifically those related to sex education. The refusal of the Administration to recognize that abstinence-only sex education is ineffective has undoubtedly hurt our teens. And the price tag? A whopping $1.5 billion federal and state tax dollars spent on abstinence-only programs that don't work.

Check out the CDC's press release and the full report here.

In other distressing news, a study by Janet Elise Rosenbaum, PhD, AM, comparing the sexual behavior of teenagers that make virginity pledges versus those that do not, found that pledgers are no less likely to engage in pre-marital sex, but they are less likely to use birth control or condoms when they do have sex. The objective of the study, published in the journal Pediatrics, was to go further than past research in comparing these groups given that "the US government spends more than $200 million annually on abstinence-promotion programs, including virginity pledges."

This study reinforces what Planned Parenthood already knows. Abstinence-only programs fail because they leave out key information. Teens should be given all the information they need to know about how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies if we want them to be safe.

Technorati tags: tagname


Blogger Staff said...

I agree that the Bush Administration's policies in reproductive health have been abominable, but does the CDC report reveal a causal connection between those policies and these statistics? The big issue could turn out to be more important than the political statement if that connection is not causal, and I'd like to know what it is.

February 4, 2009 at 10:28 AM  

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