FRC’s Pat Fagan Delivers on Teen Birth Analysis

From the Family Research Council.

“Two weeks ago I wrote about a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on preliminary birth rate data for 2006. The CDC‘s press release was headlined, “Teen Birth Rate Rises for First Time in 14 Years.” Liberal groups responded by bashing abstinence education as a failure (when it is actually a success in need of wider implementation). But the media missed the biggest and worst news in the report, which was not the tiny uptick in “teen births” (by 3%), but the explosive growth in total out-of-wedlock births (by 8%) to a new record high. It is foolish to think that a birth to an unmarried 20-year-old mother is somehow of less concern to society than one to a married 19-year-old. In fact, the percentage of all out-of-wedlock births which are to adolescents (17 or under) has continued a steady decline, while the percentage to adults (18 and over) continues to rise. This suggests that the age group actually getting abstinence education (middle school and high school students) is doing better than their elders, despite our sex-saturated culture and Planned Parenthood-style, “if it feels good, do it with a condom” sex education. Encouraging “abstinence until college” rather than “abstinence until marriage” will not help the millions of children being born to and raised by single mothers–who are nearly five times as likely to live in poverty as those raised by their married mother and father.”

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