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CWA Regrets U.S. Status as World Leader in Teen Pregnancy and STDs

Contact: Lindsay Randall, Concerned Women for America, 202-488-7000 ext. 105

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 /Christian Newswire/ -- Concerned Women for America (CWA) regrets that the United States is still the industrialized nations’ world leader in teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) despite the recent good news about the decrease in world-wide teen sexual activity.  The latest report, released by Child Trends, confirms that teenagers are not perfect users of birth control –– either condoms or hormonal contraceptives.  Less than 30 percent of females and less than half of males report consistent use of condoms. In fact, over 10 percent of males and nearly 20 percent of females report that they never use a condom.

Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Senior Fellow of CWA’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, said, “It would be easy to become complacent about the good news regarding the decrease in teen sexual activity, but the United States still has too many sexually active teens with 47 percent of teens reporting that they have engaged in sexual intercourse. The left tends to give lip service to the benefits of abstinence and then strongly promotes condoms and hormonal contraceptives.”

“How sad is it that the United States has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and STDs in the industrialized world?  That is hardly the way to provide world leadership or to promote democracy and freedom. We should be able to nurture our own young people to high standards of personal conduct and we ought to build a culture that will protect our young people and empower them for productive lives.”

Crouse said, “This factual evidence seems to shout at public officials that it is unrealistic and cruel to promote condoms and contraception as protection for teens against either pregnancy or STDs.  Over and over again the data supports the validity of an abstinence-based approach for teens.”

Crouse notes that the data used in the Child Trends report comes from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth as well as comparison data from 1988 and 1995.  Although condom use at first sexual experience has edged upwards (from 50 percent to 54 percent), around a quarter of sexually experienced teens do not use contraception.  Further, younger teens are less likely to use contraception.  Among all teens, condom use by males varied from just under 70 percent to just over 85 percent, depending upon race and ethnicity.

Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.