A Problem More Condoms Won't Solve
Carol Platt Liebau
6/19/2008 12:52:07 PM - Carol Platt Liebau
Time Magazine is running a story out of Gloucester, MA, about a group of teen girls -- none older than 16 -- who made a pact to get pregnant
Remarkably, the piece goes on:Even with national data showing a 3% rise in teen pregnancies in 2006—the first increase in 15 years—Gloucester isn't sure it wants to provide easier access to birth control.
Wait just a minute. How, exactly, would "easier access to birth control" have impacted this situation? These girls decided to get pregnant on purpose
. It wasn't that they couldn't get birth control or didn't know how to use it -- as so many proponents of "comprehensive sex education" (i.e., the variety that has students putting condoms on bananas in class) would like us to believe.
As I argue in my book
, the problem underlying teen pregnancy isn't practical (access to or knowledge of contraceptives) or even biological. It's an ethical, moral and spiritual problem. It's a matter of inadequate attention being paid to the formation of young people's character and values. That, and the fact that our society no longer makes it clear that creating a life without the maturity and the means to support that life (as well as a solid family foundation consisting of a married mother and father) isn't just "a mistake" or "a bad decision." It's wrong. Wrong.
There are plenty of people slopping over with "understanding," and therefore unwilling to try to define some behavioral standards for young people's sexual activity. What they forget is that the ones who end up suffering most are the innocent babies who are born into fatherless families, to mothers who are ill-equipped to give them the love, attention and care that every little one deserves.
Make no mistake. These little pregnant girls are also rightly the objects of compassion. They are probably themselves the products of broken or otherwise lacking homes, which is why they feel the need to "have someone love them unconditionally," as one young mother put it in the piece.
Rather than having administrators handing out contraceptives without parental knowledge, as some in Gloucester advocated, maybe there should be more character development programs like Elayne Bennett's Best Friends
, which does so much to open girls' eyes to the possibilities in the world around them.
As for being loved unconditionally -- where are the churches? Isn't the key part of the good news that Someone already has that covered?