Statement of Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards:
Doctors, politicians, scientists, parents and teens agree: the verdict is in, and sex ed works! Now someone just needs to tell our president.
Today’s study backs up what Planned Parenthood has known for decades: when we give teenagers the tools to make responsible decisions about their health, they step up to the challenge. That’s why Planned Parenthood has created the nation’s largest network of sex educators, who teach teens in schools nationwide, every day, how to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (including HIV). We have a responsibility to teach our teens how to make the right decisions about their own health.
As the mother of two teenagers, I know this starts with honest communication between young people and parents, open and accurate sex education, and access to affordable birth control. As anyone who’s watched the news lately knows, the United States is facing a crisis on teenage pregnancy, and our national policy of abstinence-only just isn’t working.
Luckily, the message of the need for comprehensive sex ed is getting out, from statehouses around the country to the halls of Congress. Just yesterday, New Mexico became the 15th state to reject federal funding for dangerous abstinence-only programs, pledging instead to teach sex ed that goes beyond just abstinence. And on the same day, for the first time, Congress stopped increasing funding for the same ineffective programs.
Planned Parenthood applauds today’s news. Now it’s time to put money toward real solutions that will help prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections among teenagers.
May 13, 2014