Don't Touch That!
It should not have surprised anyone to learn that abortion rates under the "culture of life" Bush administration have actually risen. In his review of available studies, born-again Christian researcher Glen Harold Stassen found that women have become more likely to choose abortion in the past four years, due to such factors as increasing poverty, lack of an employed spouse and lack of healthcare. Now we can add another factor: the lies and scare tactics that are apparently being employed in the administration's beloved "abstinence only" sex education programs.
The Washington Post reports that a congressional analysis of federally funded abstinence-only programs found that many such programs have made false or misleading assertions in their teaching materials. Among the statements circulating in the right's just-say-no curriculum were that abortions lead to sterility and suicide, that half the gay male teenagers in the United States are HIV-positive, and, amazingly, that touching a person's genitals can result in pregnancy (Yikes! Does that work if you only touch your own genitals?). The Peach is surprised not to see the resurrection of the old parental threat "You're gonna poke someone's eye out with that."
With that kind of intentional disinformation going on, it would be surprising not to see a sharp rise in teen pregnancy, and probably, given that many will choose abortion, a contribution to increasing abortion rates. And thanks to the Bush Administration, when these kids insist "I have no idea how this happened," they are probably telling the truth.