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Start teaching comprehensive sex education

December 4, 2012
Daily Press


You always hear people say "I am pro-life" or "I am pro-choice." You hear them argue about what's right when it comes to abortion but you never hear people trying to figure out why we argue about abortion or what the cause of abortion is really is or how to reduce the need for abortion. In the United States we have many options for birth control and in middle school or high school we all go through sex education. So why is abortion still a problem, if we have options and we teach people from a young age?

I feel that part of the problem is that although we educate the young on sex the education is inadequate. In most schools abstinence only and sexually transmitted infections (STI) is the only thing taught in sex-ed. With 20 percent of teenagers losing their virginity before age 14, something needs to change. Most teens get their sexual education on the Internet and many of the sources used are incorrect. Something needs to change. 82 percent of teen pregnancies are unintended and one quarter of those pregnancies end in abortion. Something needs to change. There are almost 9 million new cases of STIs among teenagers and young adults in the United States, rates that are much higher than in most industrialized nations. Many teens who have already had sex had no prior education on contraceptives before their first time having sex. Something needs to change! I feel that part of the solution to stopping and reducing abortion and to reduce negative teen sex statistics is to start teaching comprehensive sex education rather than abstinence only sex education.

Comprehensive sex education isn't just teaching teens about sex, it's teaching them about contraception, pregnancy prevention, and the options they have. Comprehensive sexual education doesn't ignore abstinence as the best form of pregnancy prevention but expands on other methods as well in an age appropriate fashion. It's about informing teens about sex and methods to protect themselves rather than saying just don't do it. Abstinence only sex-ed is great in theory but with 70 percent of teens under the age of 19 having sex, it just doesn't work. It is easier to teach someone methods on how to prevent pregnancy rather teach them how to raise a child.

I feel that in order to find a way to stop abortion rather than bickering over it changes need to be made at all government levels to increase the education of today's youth about sex and pregnancy prevention. In the end, abortion is an issue in the United States today, but through comprehensive sexual education and prevention maybe in the future it might not be an issue at all.

Sarah Unger




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