Abortion and Sex Education

Bill Neinast


Newspaper headlines do not tell the whole story.  The paragraphs below the headlines may or may not paint the picture previewed by the headers.

A good example is the February 15 issue of this newspaper.  There were two headlines on the first page that overlapped, but that was not apparent from a quick glance of just the headlines.  The paragraphs under both had to be read to appreciate the connection.

The top headline is, “Texas tries new anti-abortion strategy after court loss.”  The next article was headlined, “Report: Most school districts have scant sex education.”

The paragraphs under the first headline detail the blind rage of conservative Texans against abortion.  Previous attempts to prohibit abortion to “protect the health of women” have been knocked down by the courts.

The approach in the legislature now is to create so many procedures and restrictions on the handling of aborted fetuses that hospitals and doctors will opt out of abortions because of all the unneeded procedures.

Keep that obsession with abortion in mind as you read the article under the headline that is immediately under that discussion.  The conclusions in a report on sex education in public schools is discussed there.  

The first two paragraphs of that article are:

“A new study finds that more than four-fifths of Texas school districts teach no sex education or other curriculums focusing solely on abstinence.

“That despite Texas being among the nation’s teen pregnancy leaders.”

Dave McNeely was more specific with this data in his column in the Banner’s February 24 edition.  He reports that Texas was sixth highest among the 50 states in teen birth rates in 2015.  This is reflected in the 41 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 19.

He notes that 58.3% of Texas school districts teach abstinence only programs.  This may be because of the legislature’s action in 2009 removing health classes as a requirement for graduation.  Those classes are where sex education is normally taught.

The picture painted by the two headlines and articles is not pretty.  Schools are discouraged from teaching about the burdens of raising infants, what causes pregnancy, and how to avoid pregnancy.  

Then the same legislature that effectively eliminates sex education says, “If you, in your naivety of experimenting with the sex you heard about on the street corner or found on the internet, get pregnant, you are going to be punished by requiring you to have that baby and care for it, no matter what!”

This is not a pretty picture.  Why do the radical conservatives refuse to sit back and take a hard look at what they have painted?  


Those objecting to sex education in school must have short memories.   In contrast, I can remember my pre-teen and teen years 75 years ago.  Sex was a frequent topic among boys, even though the only thing we knew about the subject was what other uninformed playmates were telling us.

Today, that wisdom has been replaced with easily accessible TV porn.

In my youth, street corner wisdom was that in sexual relations, if the girl is on top she cannot get pregnant.  So go on and have fun, just keep her on top.

Way back then, that type of misinformation resulted in some teenage girls disappearing for a while.  The reason for her absence was always that she was in another state helping take care of an ill relative.

Miraculously, every ill relative recovered in seven months or so and the young “caretaker” was back home with her family.

Less obvious than the absent teenager were the so called back alley, coat hanger abortions.  These may have been more prevalent than the teenagers nursing a favorite aunt way up north, but they were rarely mentioned.

So here’s the perspective.

Because of TV and the internet, sex is probably more on the minds of teenagers than it was in my day.  The information they are getting from those sources may not be any more accurate than I was getting on the street corner.

Wake up conservatives.  Your children and grandchildren are engaging in sexual activity like always, maybe even more so.  Is it best for them to experiment under what they think they have learned on the net or to approach the subject under the guidance of competent teachers?

Once over that hurdle, think realistically about the lives you require to be brought into an environment where it is not wanted and will be hated more than loved. 

Then think about the two headlines quoted above.


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