Abstinence Education Harms LGTBQ+ Youth

Did you know that lesbian, bisexual, and gay teens are just as (if not more) likely to have or father a teen pregnancy than their heterosexual peers? Furthermore, as most major data sources fail to gather data on gender identity, the trans teen pregnancy rate is largely unknown.

Last month was Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. This month, June, is LGBT Pride Month. That makes now the perfect time to discuss queer teen pregnancy and what we can do about it.

We can create a world where every young person feels empowered to make choices for themselves, and where every pregnancy is planned and wanted.

To combat queer teen pregnancy, reduce homophobia, and save taxpayer money, the federal government should redirect the $90 million budget for abstinence education toward LGBTQ+ inclusive comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) programs. All too often, sexual health education focuses on heterosexual and cisgender youth. LGBTQ+ people are often only discussed in tandem with HIV/AIDS. As a result, queer youth report that sex ed feels irrelevant to their needs and further stigmatizes them. Worse yet, the federal government spends $90 million annually on sexual health education programs that teach sexual abstinence instead of equipping young people with the tools and resources they need.

This may soon change — but not for the better: President Trump’s proposed budget would eliminate the evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, while maintaining $85 million dollars for abstinence education programs. Continue reading

Pro-Choice Friday News Rundown

  • Our beloved Arizona: the home sweet home of flagrantly anti-choice politicians. This time it’s Congressman Trent Franks who states that Planned Parenthood “kills children for profit”. Hmm…we’re a non-profit organization the last time we checked and if he’s talking about allowing a woman to terminate a pregnancy, that’s been the law of the land for nearly 40 years. I can appreciate his newfound concern for the health of “children” though. That’s progress right? (Political Correction)
  • More AZ stupidity courtesy of Jan Brewer (RH Reality Check)
  • It’s odd how these anti-choice billboards never say things like “Every 21 minutes, our next possible career felon is aborted.” Cause statistically speaking, the odds of your average American becoming President are likely 25 million to one while the prison population grows exponentially with every new generation. Food for thought anti-choicers! (Jezebel)
  • Family planning organizations abroad also under threat from U.S. Republicans (Guardian)
  • Surprise! Teen Pregnancy is Really Expensive for Taxpayers (Free Times)
  • Nebraska Denies Prenatal Care to Undocumented Women. Translation: They’re only “pro-life” and concerned with the well-being of a fetus if it’s Mommy is a U.S. citizen (Mother Jones)
  • Teenage Fatherhood Stunts Educational Development (Red Orbit)
  • Former PA senator and anti-choice zealot, Rick Santorum, says abortion is to blame for social security insolvency woes. ABORTION! Not common sense items like: the failure of our government to tax high income workers a SS tax on ALL of their wages rather than just a small percentage, their failure to limit benefits for wealthy retirees, further limiting the benefits early retirees would receive, etc.. Yeah, none of those things. It’s all the fault of women and their ridiculous right to choose whether or not they give birth! (L.A. Times)