November 26, 2012
Leave it to some thoughtful physicians to put good medicine ahead of good politics. Last year, the Obama administration wrongly chose to limit access of teens to the emergency contraceptive pill known as Plan B. This week, pediatricians are urging their fellow doctors to do something that should help correct that error. In a position paper released Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that doctors prescribe Plan B to girls under the age of 17 regardless of whether they are sexually active - or have some "Plan A" contraceptive in place such as birth control pills.
April 23, 2012
In her commentary on teen pregnancy ("Teen pregnancy is poverty's offspring," April 16), Susan Reimer perpetuates the justification that poverty is the primary reason teens engage in sex and become pregnant. This begs the question: Why, when we have always had poverty, did we not see the rate of unwed teen mothers in the past that we witness today? I grew up in a section of Baltimore City that had its share of immigrants, blue collar workers and other individuals who would be considered poor by today's standards.
April 16, 2012
There is good news - and some familiar bad news - in recent research into the stubborn question of why our babies have babies when it is such a spectacularly bad idea for both mother and child. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that teen births have hit an all-time low. In 2010, there were 34.4 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 19, a 9 percent drop from the year before. What makes this news even more welcome is that the birthrate among teens ticked up in the mid-2000s after 20 years of declines, and researchers were at a loss to explain why. Researchers are cautiously attributing the decrease to the public service campaigns that urge kids to delay sex for a while, and then to use contraceptives the first time and every time.
January 30, 2012
So it's official. No one really cares that Newt Gingrich is an egotistical, vainglorious scoundrel, at least where women are concerned. Sure, his ex-wife went on TV two days before the South Carolina primary and re-dished a bunch of dirt about their marriage, but based on the outcome there, it seems GOP voters got over the whole family values thing a long time ago. At the very least, it seems that unapologetic combativeness is proving a more effective campaign strategy than bragging about the longevity of your marriage or releasing enviably wholesome family portraits.
June 22, 2011
Susan Reimer was right on the money when she suggested "[paying] for the programs that help teens understand sex and make good decisions about it, and [paying] for the health care services that provide them with options for contraception," as a sensible approach to preventing teen pregnancies. ("Preventing teen pregnancy saves taxpayers billions," June 15). As a national nonprofit whose vision is: "a national community where all adolescents and young adults, including teen parents, are supported and empowered to lead healthy sexual, reproductive, and family lives," Healthy Teen Network couldn't agree more.
June 15, 2011
When it comes to teens having babies, it's a matter of pay me now or pay me later. You can pay for the programs that help teens understand sex and make good decisions about it, and you can pay for the health care services that provide them with options for contraception. Or you can pay for the misfortunes that are more likely to befall the child of a teen mother: health problems, behavioral and educational issues, and a greater likelihood of criminal troubles in adolescence and young adulthood.