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Playing With Teen Sex Statistics: A Lesson in Lies

Written by Amanda Marcotte for - News, commentary and community for reproductive health and justice.

There are many goofy aspects to this Life Site News story arguing that because a slim majority of teenagers don’t have sex, we don’t need to teach them about contraceptive methods. Perhaps the most puzzling is why they came out with the story on July 14th, since the report came out a month and a half ago. (In classic Life Site fashion, they don’t actually link the report, for fear that a stray reader may actually read it an clue into the fact that their spin is dishonest.) Did it take the American Life League this long to craft a response? If so, you’d expect them to come up with something less transparently silly than this:

ALL says that the CDC report, entitled “Teenagers in the United States: Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and Child Bearing, National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG),” debunks Planned Parenthood's constant mantra that most teens will not abstain. In particular the pro-life organization points to the words of Planned Parenthood Federation of America vice president of medical affairs, Vanessa Cullens, from a YouTube video directed toward teens: "Admit that you are a sexually active individual like most of us, and that you are going to have sex and that you need to take precautions in order to stay healthy."

The number of lies is this paragraph are astounding, a real feat in maximizing the dishonesty per syllable. As per their usual strategy, Life Site didn’t link so that you can verify their lies yourself, but I'll happily link it so you can verify. There is nothing whatsoever to suggest this is a video aimed at adolescents specifically. In fact, this video is explicitly aimed at people who have already decided to have sex or are already having sex, regardless of age.

Then there’s the suggestion that because only 42 percent of girls and 43 percent of boys ages 15 to 19 have had sex, then there’s no need whatsoever for anything but abstinence-only education, because a majority don’t need to know about contraception. Read more