Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Your Home State can get you pregnant

The Washington Post has a rather remarkable headline on one of their articles: Unintended Pregnancy Linked to State Funding Cuts. Remarkable because I wasn’t aware that state funding was part of the pregnancy process but Post reporter Ceci Connally apparently read all about this in a new report released by the “nonpartisan Guttmacher Institute.”

Actually, the entire name of the institute is The Alan Guttmacher Institute, as in Alan Guttmacher – former president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Ms. Connally tells us it is nonpartisan in her opening paragraph. But she concludes her article with the fact that it “was founded in 1968 as a "semiautonomous division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America" but now operates independently, according to its Web site”. And if you go to the web site of the National Abortion Federation, it strongly implies the Institute is a member institution. But if Ms. Connally considers them non-partisan…..

“From 1994 to 2001, many states cut funds for family planning, enacted laws restricting access to birth control and placed tight controls on sex education, said the institute, a privately funded research group that focuses on sexual health and family issues.”

“Despite some gains, the United States still lags far behind most industrialized nations in reducing abortion and teenage pregnancy. In 2002, 21 in 1,000 American women age 15 to 44 had an abortion. Although that is the lowest abortion rate since 1974, the decline has stalled, prompting fears that individuals and policymakers have lost focus on the underlying problem of unintended pregnancies, said Guttmacher President Sharon L. Camp.”

So this is what I’ve just learned: 1994 through 2001 saw many states cut their funding for birth control and sex ed. In 2002, the US had its lowest abortion rate since 1974.

“The problem is particularly acute for the nation's estimated 17 million adolescent girls and low-income women, because a lack of education and money are often barriers to practicing abstinence or effective birth control.”

Am I being too insensitive by stating that a “lack of…money” is never a barrier to abstinence? And how far does one have to go in high school before catching on to the fact that sex can lead to pregnancy? A common cliché is that kids today are so much smarter than we were… why the problem?

More from the Institute at Guttmacher Institute: Home Page

You should send this Best of the Web Today. At least the headline.

About 10 years ago I remember a story in the Baltimore Sun quoting the Guttmacher institute. It also quoted Dr. Guttmacher. Actually at the tiem Dr. Guttmacher had been dead for about 20 years. So I informed the Sun and they made a correction.

I'm friendly with his grandson or great grandson who is an Orthodox Jew and second amendment supporting Republican.
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