Teenagers In America: Oversexualized And Undervalued

When the news came out that teen pregnancy rates were on the rise again, all sorts of implications were suggested. Rob Stein of the Washington Post reported that not only were the teen pregnancy rates on the way up again, but abortion rates among teens were also increasing. One would think Chicken Little was running loose screaming that the sky is falling.

Stein quoted Sarah Brown of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, who opined, “One of the nation’s shining success stories of the past two decades is in danger of unraveling. Clearly, the nation’s collective efforts to convince teens to postpone childbearing must be more creative and more intense, and they must begin today.”

Stein then observed that

[t]he cause of the increase is the subject of debate. Several experts blamed the increase in teen pregnancies on sex-education programs that focus on encouraging abstinence. Others said the reversal could be due to a variety of factors, including an increase in poverty, an influx of Hispanics and complacency about AIDS, prompting lax use of birth control such as condoms.

But perhaps the most telling aspect of Stein’s report was that the federal government, in collaboration with the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), an “independent” arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, issued its report just when Congress is debating how much of our tax money should be set aside to fund ever-failing sex-education programs. I doubt that it is a coincidence that this study came out at this time.

Time magazine featured an analysis of the AGI study in a telling overview, which explains to the reader  a bit more about the numbers and how they break down. The highest increase in teen pregnancy occurred, for example, among young women ages 18 and 19, with younger teens experiencing only a slight increase in pregnancy rates. The increases also occurred in a more noticeable way among minority adolescents in the same age group, though the reporter indicates that taking all numbers into account, the overall rate of pregnancy among minority women has declined.

So what is one to make of this? It obviously depends on whether the results are evaluated in light of the historic failure of PP’s activity. Jim Sedlak, founder of Stop Planned Parenthood International, pointed out the following upon reviewing the report:

“This is not rocket science,” said Jim Sedlak…”When you don’t tell kids to remain abstinent, they have more sex and more of them get pregnant. Pregnancy rates go down when kids don’t have sex.”

• Prior to 1990, teen pregnancy rates were increasing just about every year, as Planned Parenthood’s sex-ed programs dominated public and private school sex-education courses.

• In the early 1990s, it became popular to teach the abstinence message to teens and preteens. Teen pregnancy rates began to fall.

• By 1995, the federal government was funding an abstinence-only message while pregnancy rates continued to fall.

• By 2000, Planned Parenthood began lobbying various states to refuse abstinence money and reduce abstinence programs, and predictably, in 2006, the teen pregnancy rate increased for the first time in 15 years.

• Today, partnering with President Obama, Planned Parenthood lobbying has succeeded in virtually cutting off abstinence-only funds.

“We can only imagine how high the teen pregnancy rates will go,” Sedlak said.

Sedlak’s points are well taken. When you get right down to it, the fundamental problem with this latest AGI study is that, like its predecessors, it is designed to garner the highest possible amount of taxpayer dollars to pour into the coffers of organizations such as PP, which are dedicated to promoting amoral behavior that, at one time, was actually frowned upon by most Americans.

AGI’s web site confirms my suspicions. When you go to the press release page, you can also follow a link to a fact sheet on “teens’ sexual and reproductive health.” 

It is there that one recognizes the nitty-gritty of the AGI/PP agenda. Allow me to share a couple of its “facts” for your intellectual digestion, or indigestion, as the case may be.

According to AGI, “A sexually active teen who does not use contraceptives has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within a year.”

In other words, it is a foregone conclusion that kids are not capable of practicing self-control. So if they fail to ingest dangerous chemicals that can kill preborn babies and possibly result in the user acquiring a sexually transmitted disease or dying of a thromboembolism, then of course they will get pregnant. And when they do, PP will kill the “problem” for a fee, of course. Either way, the purveyors of promiscuity get to put the desired funds into the cash register. Clearly, a teenage girl is not perceived as a human being who deserves to learn why her self-respect and human dignity are her most important assets, but rather as a commodity whose sexual practices will result in increased income for PP.

Another AGI “fact”: “The majority of sexually experienced teens (74% of females and 82% of males) used contraceptives the first time they had sex.”

While AGI is clearly pleased with these numbers, it still shocks some of us that “sexually experienced teens” describes young people who are not married and could not possibly be old enough to even organize a closet—let alone organize a life based on moral principles—when nobody is there to guide them along the paths of sexual health and well-being.

There is no doubt that the bottom line is a simple one: dollars and cents. PP Parenthood and its “independent” research arm have made a career out of cooking the numbers, frying the books and steaming the pro-life public with their ongoing campaign to sexualize our children and devalue their personhood. This is because there is no money to be made in anything remotely resembling respect for the human person.

If there were, PP would not be synonymous with suggestive videos that are available 24/7 to any one of any age with internet access. Teens can visit its web site and go “behind the fig leaf” or learn how to keep the stork at bay. And, if that isn’t too much information for a teen, there’s always the choice word of the day, which I surely will not repeat in this commentary, but which is nonetheless pure, unadulterated slime.

The intent of an AGI report is reflected in AGI’s mission statement, which reads, “The Guttmacher Institute advances sexual and reproductive health through an interrelated program of social science research, policy analysis and public education designed to generate new ideas, encourage enlightened public debate, promote sound policy and program development and, ultimately, inform individual decision making.”

The term “sexual and reproductive health” equates with PP’s vision of birth control practice, planning pregnancy, resolving unplanned pregnancy and otherwise making sure that sexual relations have nothing to do with accepting responsibility for one’s actions and saving sex until marriage.
Further, the ultimate goal of this most recent study is clear in this declaration:  

In addition to the increases in teenage pregnancy, birth and abortion rates, the data presented here indicate that there are still large and long-standing disparities in rates by race and by state. These disparities echo those seen among unintended pregnancy rates, which are several times higher for women of color. Research underway at Guttmacher to calculate state-level unintended pregnancy rates will soon allow us to assess whether the state disparities seen among teenagers carry over to adult women.

Trends in teenage pregnancy, birth and abortion will need to be closely monitored over the coming years to determine how the reproductive behaviors of young women in the United States may be changing. Further research will be needed to understand the factors that are affecting these trends.

It’s my guess that additional funding will be "needed" for Guttmacher to make future calculations, and another government program will probably be "needed" to make sure that the alleged “disparities in rates by race” are addressed and that the “carry over” is analyzed properly. Perhaps a new bureaucracy will have to be created so that these trends can be monitored more closely, and of course, that will require even more federal dollars, which means more money that you and I would have to pay.

Oh yes, the purpose of this most recent study is painfully clear. What is not clear at all is why Congress continues to funnel more and more dollars into a bottomless pit that sucks up the souls of our children and spits out oversexualized automatons.