Unsurprisingly, the battle is not over yet. The left is still behind the times and is still arguing the same old talking points. The Guttmacher Institute headed their press release about the decline in teen pregnancy and abortion with the improbable claim: Improved Contraceptive Use a Key Factor. We are supposed to believe that suddenly teens have become consistent and reliable about using a condom. In fact, an earlier analysis by Guttmacher reported that 86 percent of the decline in teen pregnancy between 1995 and 2002 was due to more teens using contraception and using it more effectively. Apparently unaware that they seemed to be trying to have it both ways, Guttmacher complained that “the proportion of U.S. teens receiving any formal instruction about birth control methods has declined sharply.” Most of their press release promoted the “need” for comprehensive sex education instead of abstinence programs for teens. Further, they cited the need for increased funding for comprehensive sex education and recommended cutting all funding for abstinence (even though current funding shows an untenable disparity — $12 in comprehensive sex education funding for every $1 in abstinence education.) They want it all, even though their programs have proven ineffective.
There is still much to be done in changing attitudes and promoting the well-being of America’s young people, but teen sexual activity is down, teen pregnancies are down and teen abortions are down. That is great news from the cultural battle fields.
Over the past decade, we have offered our nation’s teens a bright future and expected the best from them. Not surprisingly, they have met the challenge and are seizing the opportunities to grasp all the possibilities available to their generation. Our national leadership needs to continue to keep faith with them by supporting abstinence education as clearly the best choice for their current and future well-being.