Janice Shaw Crouse

Newly-released data indicates great news about the nation's children –– girls aged 10-14 –– are not getting pregnant nearly as often as they did just a few years ago. This is further evidence that abstinence programs are having an impact, that they are making a difference for teens –– including children as young as 10 years of age.

How can anyone hesitate to recommend abstinence for children? How, in good conscience, can a supposedly-responsible adult support public policies that would communicate to such girls and boys that "safe-sex" is an appropriate option? Even if pregnancy were not a consideration, youngsters are not physically or psychologically ready for sexual activity. Even if morality were not an issue, the earlier a child begins sexual activity, the more partners he or she will have and the more risk he or she will face for sexually-transmitted diseases –– now at epidemic stages among youths under 25.

Looking at the trend of the pregnancy rate of 10-14 year-olds we see the amazing turn-around that has taken place as the abstinence message has taken root. This means not only that more of the nation's young girls will be able to realize their dreams and goals for the future; it also means fewer precious babies will grow up in the crushing grip of poverty.

It is imperative that we understand that an increase in abortions is not what has reduced births to young adolescents, as many would have guessed. Fewer births are occurring because there are fewer pregnancies. The sharp decline in births to young adolescents (down 43 percent between 2002 and their peak in 1992) occurred at the same time as a similar decline occurred in abortions to young adolescents (down 36 percent from 1992 to 2002). Congress should consider these facts and not be swayed by the special interests who have profited for decades by providing government-funded abortions to the poor and needy.

Amazingly, data from the left (The Alan Guttmacher Institute, et. al.) show these dramatic reversal of the trends, too. The websites of Planned Parenthood and likeminded groups express near panic as the facts threaten to undermine the monopoly the left previously has had on government funding. Yet they continue to oppose abstinence education with the flimsiest of arguments and manufactured evidence.

How can a legislator vote for legislation which would curtail the implementation of abstinence programs when the dramatic decline in birth rates and abortions to young girls reflects the more widespread implementation of abstinence programs across the nation?

Janice Shaw Crouse

Janice Shaw Crouse is a former speechwriter for George H. W. Bush and now political commentator for the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.
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