FRC’s Pat Fagan Delivers on Teen Birth Analysis

December 21, 2007

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.”


New Study Proves Effectiveness of Abstinence Education

November 17, 2007

From Katherine T. Phan and Christian Post.

“Just days after Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine announced that he will cut state funding for abstinence education programs, a new study affirmed that such initiatives in the state do work.

The study, which will be published in the Jan./Feb. 2008 issue of the “American Journal of Health Behavior,” shows that programs by the state health department’s Virginia Abstinence Education Initiative resulted in a “significant reduction in teen sexual initiation.”

The Institute for Research and Evaluation evaluated the impact of the programs by examining the behavior of seventh-graders from five different Virginia schools. The study concluded that those students receiving abstinence education were about one-half (45.7 percent) as likely to initiate sexual activity as students who did not receive abstinence education.”

To read more click here.


Latest Cold Case episode called ‘bigoted’ toward Christians

October 5, 2007

From Allie Martin, Jody Brown and One News Now.

“The Culture and Media Institute says Hollywood is trying to portray Christians who practice abstinence as hypocritical, as Congress debates abstinence education.

In the most recent episode of the CBS crime show Cold Case, supposedly devout Christian teenagers — all member of Hearts Wait, an abstinence club — were portrayed as sexually active. Also, the young people were shown stoning a member of their group who had joined their club shortly before her death. Supposedly the character was attacked so the group’s sins would remain secret.

The Culture and Media Institute (CMI), an arm of the Media Research Center, describes the episode as “a ham-handed attempt to influence this fall’s Congressional debate on abstinence education programs” by depicting abstinence-only education as “useless, if not actively harmful” — and “an exercise in bigoted, Christophobic fantasy.” Kristen Fyfe, a senior writer for CMI, says the program shows Hollywood has an agenda.

“Do I think that the producers deliberately put this story on to coincide with that debate? No. But definitely, part of the liberal agenda, part of Hollywood’s agenda, is all about sexualization of children,” says Fyfe. “And abstinence education, which is another context of this particular story, is not something they are on board with.”

In the opening scene of the episode, a high school “health” teacher is portrayed telling her class that school policy prevents her from telling them about various methods of birth control and how they work. CMI calls it one of several “gratuitous slaps at abstinence-only education,” and notes that Congress is currently debating funding for such programs.

According to Fyfe, the show is part of a larger trend across all forms of media. “Nobody who pays any attention to the media is surprised that Christians … constantly seem to be made the target of terrible story lines like this or attacks just flat-out painting them as bigoted or homophobic …,” she asserts. “Pick any slanderous epithet and it’s usually been lobbed at Christians.”

Fyfe points out that Hollywood would never portray Muslims in a negative light because of the current politically correct atmosphere in society.”


Why is the Pre-Teen Pregnancy Rate Dropping?

August 15, 2007

From Janice Crause and Townhall.

“Newly-released data indicates great news about the nation’s children –– girls aged 10-14 –– are not getting pregnant nearly as often as they did just a few years ago. This is further evidence that abstinence programs are having an impact, that they are making a difference for teens –– including children as young as 10 years of age.

How can anyone hesitate to recommend abstinence for children? How, in good conscience, can a supposedly-responsible adult support public policies that would communicate to such girls and boys that “safe-sex” is an appropriate option? Even if pregnancy were not a consideration, youngsters are not physically or psychologically ready for sexual activity. Even if morality were not an issue, the earlier a child begins sexual activity, the more partners he or she will have and the more risk he or she will face for sexually-transmitted diseases –– now at epidemic stages among youths under 25.

Looking at the trend of the pregnancy rate of 10-14 year-olds we see the amazing turn-around that has taken place as the abstinence message has taken root. This means not only that more of the nation’s young girls will be able to realize their dreams and goals for the future; it also means fewer precious babies will grow up in the crushing grip of poverty.

It is imperative that we understand that an increase in abortions is not what has reduced births to young adolescents, as many would have guessed. Fewer births are occurring because there are fewer pregnancies. The sharp decline in births to young adolescents (down 43 percent between 2002 and their peak in 1992) occurred at the same time as a similar decline occurred in abortions to young adolescents (down 36 percent from 1992 to 2002). Congress should consider these facts and not be swayed by the special interests who have profited for decades by providing government-funded abortions to the poor and needy. ”

To read more click here.


Systematic Review or Systematic Deceit?

August 15, 2007

From the Family Research Council.

“A new British Medical Journal systematic review examines the trial results of abstinence education programs on HIV prevention but comes to some biased convulsions. The review is highly selective and only lightly adheres to established tenets of health behavior theory. The authors concluded that health programs which exclusively teach sexual abstinence do not seem to affect the risk of HIV infection in high-income countries. Taking a closer look at the scientific studies chosen for the review, trials that did not report biological or behavioral outcomes were excluded. This was a convenient way of ensuring a desired conclusion. Newly introduced prevention programs usually conduct initial evaluations based on intermediate outcomes rather than rapid behavioral change. Such outcomes include increased knowledge, positive attitudes toward the desired behavior, and intentions to practice the behavior. Demonstrating changes in disease infection rates following new health education programs can take years. Anti-smoking campaigns are a good example. Successful abstinence programs require time, patience, and a long-term view of human health. “


House Democrats lauded for increasing abstinence education funds

July 25, 2007

From Jim Brown and One News Now.

“A major setback has been dealt to opponents of abstinence-only education, and the Democrat-led House of Representatives is being praised for dealing that blow.”

To read more click here.


Money Grows on Family Planning Trees

July 24, 2007

From the Family Research Council.

“Last week, while Congress was busy bickering about the price of abstinence education, a new study was establishing just how important those programs are. Although the rate of teen sexual activity had steadily declined since 1991, a federal analysis of the latest data suggests that in the last six years the percentage of young people having sex has hovered at nearly the same level. Unfortunately, after a decade of decline in the nineties, teenagers are no more inclined to delay sex until after high school today than they were in 2001. Liberal groups like Advocates for Youth (AFY) have been quick to blame this plateau on the rise of abstinence education, claiming that Congress has spent an unprecedented amount on the “save” sex message. Pointing to last week’s House vote to slightly increase Title V abstinence funding and reauthorize $141 million in Community Based Abstinence Education grants, AFY President James Wagoner said that [Congress] “turned its back on public health.” What Wagoner fails to admit is that while abstinence has experienced a long-deserved influx of federal funds, value-free sex education continues to outpace spending on conservative programs by hundreds in millions of taxpayer dollars. Case in point while the House approved an additional $28 million for abstinence programs in Title V, liberal programs received the same raise, adding another $28 million to its bulging $310 million budget! Perhaps the biggest culprit for the stagnancy on teen sex front is confusion. The federal government continues to subsidize a mixed message on sexual activity. It promotes programs that tell kids not to have sex, yet funnels money to groups that offer nothing more than a “how to” lesson in promiscuity. Abstinence may well be making a significant difference in the rate of teen sexual activity, but how can it expect to compete with the near-billion spent undermining that message? Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) did his best to prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving any more Title X money, but his amendment fell just shy of passing. The rates of teen sex will resume their decline when leaders realize, as Pence has, that when it comes to the government’s abstinence message–accept no substitutes! “