I thought Dr. Laura Berman did a terrific job. She knocked down each and every one of Laura Ingraham's attempts to smear the Los Angeles school district for having a Planned Parenthood clinic in a public high school. Berman pointed out that what Planned Parenthood is doing is entirely needed and legal. And Ingraham didn't really have any argument other than to try to fox (pun intended) Berman into admitting contraception is not as effective as abstinence (she didn't) and to make smarmy suggestions about Planned Parenthood.
What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
I would still have to go with a basic rule that the person who should be in charge of what to do about a pregnancy is the person who is pregnant, in consultation with her doctor. Imposing a moral judgment by someone else unfortunately puts that woman into a position that has less to do with medical issues and more to do with the outside person’s opinion of the woman’s lifestyle and choices.
We also need to be aware that taking away the legal choice of abortion for most women will not mean that they will not get pregnant. It just means that the situation will revert to what it was before Roe v Wade, where some places were known to be legal locations for it, and other places saw a lot of unsafe makeshift abortions which were dangerous to the women involved. There’s a reason those were referred to as “back alley” abortions. Attempting to reimpose that scenario in the 21st century strikes me as an untenable option.
I would be very happy if more people would pursue abstinence and chastity, and devote themselves to a single mate for their whole lives. I agree that we are in an age where marriage as an institution is no longer as much of a core value as it was fifty years ago. But we should also be aware that fifty and even one hundred years ago and longer, people were not simply chaste and abstinent up to the day of marriage. Some were, and some even practice that philosophy today. Most were not. And while I can happily point to many couples who have enjoyed long marriages, I can unfortunately point to many more who have not. Couples who married young and then realized ten years later that this was not the person they wished to spend the next fifty wiht. Couples who had children in an effort to keep the marriage together, only to find themselves working out a situation of divorced parents sharing custody.
I agree that sex education that consists of wink-wink, nod-nod will do very little to help a teenager understand some basic information everyone should have. But just telling teenagers “You shouldn’t do this until you’re prepared to spend the rest of your life with this person” will not address the situation either. I think there’s a middle ground – where you can address the very real health issues, and the very real emotional and societal ramifications of sexual activity. Again, more information is better than less information.
I don’t know anyone who wants a ten year old child to be engaging in this kind of activity. Among other reasons, that’s before the child has even gone through puberty. However, if we’re talking about a sixteen year old teenager who is dealing with all the raging hormones of that age, isn’t it a better idea to address the situation rather than just telling that teenager “Just say no”?
I believe that what Laura Berman was trying to say, repeatedly, was that the notion of abstinence-only education was tried for 8 years under the GW Bush administration. It did not lower the numbers of teen pregnancies or teen STDs. The numbers went up. She agrees that abstinence-BASED education is the way to go, as it acknowledges what is really happening while trying to provide some basic guidance. Guidance, I might add, that should have been provided by the parents and many times is not.