In the late 70s, abortion became the wedge issue Fundagelicals needed to create their political machine. They deemed themselves pro-life. Are they really? They claim they want to end the tragedy of abortions and have worked fervently to create state laws that limit abortions. They finance and support candidates that oppose abortion and often are willing to overlook racism, bigotry, and criminality as long as the candidate is “pro-life.”
However, let’s look at a few facts. The United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates for a developed country. 72.7 Per 1000 girls 15–19 years old as the table below shows.
U.S. teenage pregnancy and birth rates are high compared to other developed countries.
|International Data||The U.S.||France||Germany||Netherlands||Canada||UK|
|Pregnancy rate (2002–5)||72.2||25.7||18.8||11.8||29.2||41.3∧|
|Birth rate (2006)||41.9||7.8||10.1||3.8||13.3||26.7|
Rates are listed as numbers per 1000 girls 15–19 years old,
The information above comes from a research article called “Abstinence-Only Education and Teen Pregnancy Rates: Why We Need Comprehensive Sex Education in the U.S.” What the article points out is abstinence-only education correlates with higher teen pregnancies. There have been numerous calls for comprehensive sex education in schools, but they are opposed by the Religious Right. Fundagelicals believe if you talk about sex, educate teens on birth control, and prevention of STIs you are encouraging them to have sex. Fundagelicals believe sex-education gives permission to teens to have sex! This is why they push abstinence-only education here in the U.S.
If you look at the Netherlands, they have one of the lowest teen pregnancy rates in developed countries. 11.8 Per 100 girls 15-19 years old. The Netherlands also has comprehensive sex-education. Comprehensive sex-education correlates with lower teen pregnancy rates. The Netherlands also has the lowest abortion rate in the world! 5-7 Per 1,000 women of reproductive age. The Netherlands not only has comprehensive sex-education but extensive family planning and access to contraceptives. Fundagelicals also oppose family planning clinics, pushing for their defunding, and oppose teen access to contraceptives without their parent’s permission.
Understand this: Fundagelicals who are supposedly “pro-life” and oppose abortion oppose the programs that could lower the abortion rate here in the U.S. If Fundagelicals supported comprehensive sex education and access to contraceptives, the abortion rate would drop.
Why don’t they? They don’t because controlling the sexual behavior and bodies of women is more important than reducing the abortion rate. They use the lie that sex-education and contraceptives encourage teen sex and will cause more teens to have more sex. Yet, they are unable to produce any research that shows a correlation between sex-education and increased sexual activity.
Let’s face it; teens are going to have sex. At my Christian High School, teens were having sex despite the abstinence-only education we were receiving. One couple ended up getting pregnant because they tried to use a sandwich bag as a condom.
If Fundagelicals are really anti-abortion, then they should be advocating for better sex-education and access to contraception. These have been shown to lower the abortion rate. That’s what they want right? It’s time to put up or shut up. Stop trying to control people’s sexual behavior, face facts, and prevent abortions.
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