Jill Stanek has an important piece about the “teen pregnancy pact” from the school in Massachusetts, where 18 students aged 16 or younger are pregnant and there may have been some type of pact to try and get pregnant. Surprisingly (!) the media is missing some rather obvious questions and story lines.
[Principal] Sullivan was mandated to report the pregnancies of any of his 18 students under age 16, since pregnancy is evidence a crime may have been committed.
The law would also have required the same of mandated reporter Kim Daly, the GHS school nurse who by last month had distributed 150 pregnancy tests since the beginning of the school year, according to Time. A request for a pregnancy test by a girl under 16 is demonstration she may be the victim of sexual abuse.
These incidents also beg lawsuits galore, if the absentee parents get smart.
In her press conference, Kirk tried to shift blame for the pregnancies to state and federal government funding reductions “resulting in cuts to programs and services … including support for health education.”
Not so fast. Last spring, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick rejected $700,000 in free money for abstinence teaching from the federal government. Meanwhile, Patrick approved a budget increase of $800,000 for comprehensive sex ed funding, bringing the total to $3.8 million annually.
Of course it’s not a story about sex education, because only comprehensive sex ed is taught in Massachusetts public schools.
Had this been a school system that taught abstinence, you’d best believe sex ed would be central to the story.
Had Patrick rejected comprehensive sex ed funding and increased abstinence funding, the New York Times would be pointing it out, not me.
Why isn’t the mainstream media researching Gloucester’s comprehensive sex ed curriculum? (I’m trying, but – surprise – none of the Gloucester public or school officials will call me back.)
Obviously, this drama spotlights just some of its deficiencies. As the Massachusetts Family Institute wrote:
The Gloucester girls were never taught to have a positive vision of their future, never encouraged to abstain from sexual activity until marriage, never motivated to consider the importance of raising their child with the loving support of a husband – all taught in abstinence-also education programs that are being pushed out of Massachusetts schools. …The hot topic in Gloucester now is whether to give minor girls at GHS hormonal contraceptives without their parents knowing, as if that is the solution to purposefully getting pregnant. Does the school plan to force-feed the Pill every morning? And while it bypasses parents, will it report cases of suspected child abuse for every girl under 16 requesting contraception?
The knee-jerk reaction in some circles was to blame abstinence programs. That only fails in a couple huge ways:
- That school doesn’t teach abstinence and spends big bucks on comprehensive sex ed.
- How could teaching abstinence make kids want to deliberately get pregnant?
As pro-life blogger extraordinaire Roxanne De Luca noted:
This blogger’s take: giving contraception to people who want to get pregnant is like giving a fire extinguisher to an arsonist.