Encouraging Teen Abstinence

Should birth control information be taboo?


Up to nine times as many teenagers give birth in the United States as in other industrialized countries. Moreover, more American youths under age 15 are becoming sexually active. Although overall U.S. teen birthrates are declining, out-of-wedlock births are skyrocketing in the United States and throughout the industrialized world. To reverse these trends, Congress and the states are spending $837.5 million over the next five years to encourage teenagers and unmarried adults to abstain from sexual intercourse, without teaching them about contraception or disease prevention. But critics say that withholding such information leaves youths “defenseless.”

The Best Friends Jazz Choir, comprised of high school girls from Washington, D.C., salutes the organizations's 10th anniversary last year at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

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