After 30 years of implementation and evaluation, there is no compelling evidence of contraceptive distribution and instruction programs having had a sustained and meaningful effect on “protective” behaviors-that is, “consistent and correct condom use” in classroom-type settings. As a public health intervention method, contraceptive programs have simply failed American youth: An STD epidemic currently exists amongst young people. One in four teenage girls nationwide has an STD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the U.S. continues to have the highest teen pregnancy rate in the industrialized world; and the toll from the negative psychological sequelae associated with adolescent sex is having an impact on mental health and the pursuit of life-goals.

Decreasing teen sexual activity is key to decreasing poverty, since single parenting is strongly linked to poverty. Research shows that the younger a teen starts having sex, the greater risk of pregnancy. A 2002 study from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy found that slmost half of all girls who have sex before age 15 get pregnant, The distribution of contraceptives does nothing to promote healthy relationships, healthy family formation, and marriage, where a greater probability for economic stability exists.

As well as increased risk of non-marital pregnancy, substance abuse and poor academic achievement are associated with teen sexual activity and can affect school drop-out rates. According to data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, those who were sexually active were three times more likely to be depressed than those who were abstinent. By contrast, teens who abstain from sex enhance their abilities to achieve short-term and long-term life goals.

Young people deserve a whole-person approach, including physical, emotional, and psychological dimensions. The primary prevention strategy, or risk-avoidance abstinence approach, provides for a health paradigm in which youth are better able to develop during adolescent years and from which society will benefit.

Moira Gaul
Source: FRCBlog
Publish Date: July 14, 2009
Link to this article.  
Send this article to a friend.

Illinois Federation for Right to Life Blog  Visit the IFRL on Facebook  Bookmark and Share

The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.   Click here to learn more about the IFRL.


Illinois Federation for Right to Life