if you guys have the impetus and agree with me, you should write your senators about this too. feel free to lift my sources:
Greetings! I'm writing to express my concern about President Bush's 2009 budget proposal, which includes $204 million to support Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE), which supports abstinence "as the only curriculum that successfully addresses teen pregnancies, STIs and the emotional consequences of teen sex."
I understand that this is a very emotionally charged issue for many people, especially parents. I'm only 26, so as your constituency goes, I'm probably towards the younger end of that spectrum. I also have 3 siblings in college, so it gives me a bit of a different perspective than the typical "married with kids" Hoosier. Although I know many parents are completely opposed to the idea of safer sex education, it's become increasingly clear that abstinence only education simply does not work. It only serves to make sexuality even more mysterious and taboo (and thereby, more alluring) to young men and women.
According to a study by UNICEF (http://www.unicef-icdc.org/publications/pdf/repcard3e.pdf
), the United States comes in with an embarrassing 22% of women giving birth before their 20th birthday – about four times higher than the European Union average and by far the highest rate of any first world nation. Looking at countries with higher levels of comprehensive sexual education, the correlation (if not outright causation) becomes crystal clear. Teenage birth demonstrably limits a woman's freedom and independence by restricting her level of education and career possibilities.
As reported by CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/03/11/teen.std.ap/
), 1 in 4 teenage girls in the US now has an STD. We simply cannot bury our heads in the sand and hope that this will go away. HPV, which is the most prevalent STD among teenagers, can cause cervical cancer and infertility.
The only way to solve these issues is to start informing teens of how to protect themselves. We can and must continue to inform them of the myriad risks of having sex, protected and unprotected both, but we cannot continue to send them out into the adult world without sufficient knowledge of how to make safe decisions and mitigate the risks of their actions. We are putting young men and women in very real danger (physically and societally) by not giving them the tools and the education to protect themselves.
Senator Bayh, I hope you take the time to look at these studies and articles and inform yourself on the subject (if you have not already done so), so when the time comes, you can make the best decision for the future of all Hoosiers, whether they are currently of voting age or not. Thank you so much for your time and your service to the citizens of Indiana!
Tags: activism, politics, sex
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