Friday, September 02, 2005

Hell in a Hand-Basket

Some days I feel like the world is going to hell in a hand-basket. Like today. Chaos is growing New Orleans while rescue workers dodge bullets and explosions and snipers. And I can't help but wonder: would the number of looters and shooters be this high if the prevalence of guns down there weren't so high?

When I worked for the little bookstore in Savannah there were little old ladies who carried in their purses and it scared the hell out of me.

And this headline caught my attention today, too: Ohio High School Has 64 Pregnant Students. It made me do a double take - 64 pregnant high schoolers? The hell? But it turns out that this is only 13 percent. Whew, right? What a bullet they dodged there - it could have been a real PR nightmare.

Except for this bit here:

Joanne Hinton, whose 16-year-old daughter, Raechel Hinton, is eight months pregnant, said she believes the school's abstinence-based sex education program isn't enough.

"It's time to take the blinders off and realize that these kids are having sex," she said. "Obviously, abstinence is not working. If we have to, just give them condoms."

Abstinence-based programs have been growing nationwide at schools over the past few years. In Ohio, the Bush's administration and the state's health department have awarded $32 million in grants to Ohio agencies for abstinence education since 2001.

This makes want to tear my hair out. What better example is there of a failed program? But no. Let's throw good money after bad and ruin as many lives as possible with this abstinence malarky. Don't get me wrong; I'm all for abstinence. But I think it's naive and unrealistic to believe that kids aren't going to have sex just because they're told not to.

And of course the activist pharmacists who want to cut women off from birth control are only adding to the problem. What we need is more birth control, not less. But it's all about power. While the government, through the FDA, has the power over birth control and Planned Parenthood regulations and the Plan B Pill, then they will retain their power over women everywhere.

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