Teen pregnancy: Culture must shift
This is what happens when red states make Planned Parenthood the enemy.
In his State of the State address on Tuesday, Gov. Phil Bryant set out as a policy for his administration to tackle the issue of teen pregnancy - a formidable goal.
“Without hesitation, we must begin the public discussion of how to reduce teen pregnancy in Mississippi,” Bryant said. “As you know, we lead the nation in teen pregnancy and consequently, low birth weights and high infant mortality rates. We know a child born to a teen mother almost always has a difficult path to success.”
Even so, we’ll have to wait a bit more to see what the new governor intends to do about it.
As he stated: “I have asked the director of the Department of Human Services and the state health officer to provide me, within 30 days, an aggressive plan to address our teen pregnancy rate and suggestions on how to curb it. We can no longer pretend that teen pregnancy and illegitimacy are non-issues - we must boldly confront the facts and address them.”
We know what doesn’t work!
The state’s “abstinence only” sex education in the schools has helped bring us to this sad situation.
Rather, to provide more detailed knowledge, Mississippi schools have until June 30 to decide how to incorporate “abstinence-only” or “abstinence-plus” classes into the curriculum for the 2012-2013 school year.
State law allows abstinence-only programs to include discussion of condoms and contraceptives if they give the risks and failure rates of each. Abstinence-plus programs have more leeway to discuss condoms and contraceptives.