FACT: Reducing unintended pregnancies, particularly among adolescents, would improve educational and employment opportunities for women, which would in turn contribute to improving the status of women, increasing family savings, reducing poverty and spurring economic growth, AND unintended pregnancies would decline by… more than two-thirds with a doubled investment in family planning and maternal health services.
The key message that all federally funded family planning clinics are required and do provide the following counseling message: ABC=if not in a monogamous and mutually committed relationship, abstinence is the first choice; if you are in a monogamous and mutually committed relationship then be faithful and if you are not in the above defined relationship and cannot be abstinent then use condoms.
There are some young women who don’t have the choice in being sexually active: a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that 20% of girls in the seventh through 12th grades had been “physically forced to have sexual intercourse against [their] will.”
“As many as one in four U.S. teenage girls have had a sexually transmitted disease (STD), many infected soon after their first sexual encounter”, a new government report shows.
“The high burden of STDs among teen girls reminds us that we can’t ignore this,” said study author Dr. Sami L. Gottlieb, from the division of sexually transmitted disease prevention at the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention.
“Moreover, in the year after having their first sexual experience [often against their will] and with only one sex partner, 19.2 percent of the teens developed an STD”, Gottlieb’s group found.
“To counter these problems, teens need to have early sex education”, Gottlieb noted. “The vast majority of people have sex for the first time during their teenage years, so we need them to be prepared,” she said.
“These are the facts of epidemiology, not ideology, and should be the basis for public health policy”, she said.
“Adolescent girls need early access to comprehensive sex education, and barrier contraceptives,” Katz said. “This will not increase sexual activity, but it will attenuate the resultant harms.”
This post was originally published by RH Reality Check on September 17, 2010