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Too Many U.S. Teens Want to Get Pregnant

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Written by Tatiana Mckinney for RHRealityCheck.org - News, commentary and community for reproductive health and justice.

According to BusinessWeek, "More than 40 percent of unmarried U.S. teenagers -- or 4.3 million teen males and females -- have had sex at least once, a new U.S. government report shows."

"One of the great success stories of the past two decades has been the extraordinary declines in teen pregnancy and childbearing," said Bill Albert, chief program officer at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. "This progress has recently stalled out."

The interesting aspect of this new information is that, one in five girls and one in four boys said they would be pleased if they or their partner got pregnant.

"This is really quite alarming," Albert said. "I don't think it takes a Ph.D. to understand that in this day and age and in this economy the route to success doesn't begin with a family at age 16."

The problem is that unwanted pregnancy has been glamorized by our media and society, while sex education has been demonized, limited, or not taught at all in some school districts. If we don't equip young people with knowledge about sex and the consequences when you engage in sex when you are not prepared, there will continue to be an increase in unwanted pregnancies, not to mention higher rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and diseases.

According to BusinessWeek, "With nearly half of all teenagers stating that they are sexually active, we cannot afford to keep our heads in the sand about ensuring that our young people have access to comprehensive sex education," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "While it's encouraging to hear that a majority of them are using some form of birth control, many of the attitudes revealed in this report tell us that there is plenty of room for more comprehensive sex education that includes information about abstinence, contraception, healthy relationships, and responsible decision-making"

I agree with Cecile Richards in that comprehensive sex education would be a responsible way to address the unwanted pregnancy epidemic, but you have to realize that sex education should also be taught at home. Read more

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