Just Say No to Life Jackets


Okay, I’m shamelessly Facebooking on my blog with this, but concerning the whole contraceptives, rape and abortion controversy, this says it all!

 Let me explain this for Dutch readers who may not have been following the whole debate about all this closely.

To begin with, most public  schools in America don’t provide sex education to the students. In Texas, for example, the only thing related to sex that may be taught is abstinence: simply don’t have sex.

And yet teenage girls get pregnant. According to a survey covering 2006 to 2009, “the birth rate [in 2009] for females age 15-19 was 39.1 births per 1,000 females — a historic low for the US but significantly higher than other developed countries such as Canada (14 per 1,000), Germany (10 per 1,000) and Italy (7 per 1,000)”. And that only starts counting at age 15.

Some of these girls, and women too, may want an abortion, for example because they are not in a position to be responsible for a baby. However, several Republicans are trying to reverse Roe vs. Wade, the abortion act that makes abortion a woman’s choice. The idea is that if a girl or a woman gets pregnant, she’ll just have to deal with it.

About a month ago, Missouri Senator Todd Akin claimed that abortion after rape shouldn’t be legal, but that it’s a non-issue anyway, because when a woman is legitimately raped (whatever that means), her reproductive system shuts down and she can’t get pregnant.  Incidentally, this guy is on the congressional science committee.

About a week ago, Indiana senate candidate Richard Mourdock claimed that rape victims should not have abortions because their pregnancies were still what God intended and the babies are still gifts from God. There has been some back-and-forth about whether or not him saying that God intended the pregnancy means he implied that God intended the rape, but frankly, I don’t see the difference. The end result is the same.

So,                                                                                                                                                                      Can you think of any other metaphors for the issue? Are you for or against sex education in schools? Are you for or against allowing a woman an abortion after being raped? Give me your thoughts, including the reason you feel the way you do, in five paragraphs, double-spaced, and don’t forget your topic sentences.

I’m kidding! Just tell me what you think.

16 responses to “Just Say No to Life Jackets

  1. Good old Texas! It is true that the state refused to pass a law that would force schools to provide more than abstinence information. Even if some schools actually offers what they call “abstinence-plus” instruction, it doesn’t really help.

    Texas’ teen birthrate is third-highest in nation. And Texas’ teenagers are more sexually active than the nation average.

    Sometimes, Americans are just plain stupid.

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    • Actually, statistics show that sex ed does help. There’s sex ed in most western European countries, and teen pregnancies are less than a thrid of what they are here, and my guess is that most of the teen pregnancies in Europe are among recent immigrants, because it’s not part of the overall culture.

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  2. I’m with Mark on his point about “sometimes, Americans are just plain stupid”, I think; I also think that no matter what is said about the separation of Church and State, by politicians and so forth, in practice they’re pretty much joined at the hip. And that joining causes far more misery than is warranted.

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  3. I can do it in less than 5 paragraphs and just 5 words:
    I totally agree with you!

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  4. When it comes down to it, I probably am a one-issue voter, in that I refuse to vote for a party that consistently tries to limit a woman’s access to abortion and overall autonomy over her own body. But I think the Republican approach to abortion is symptomatic of their overall feeling that women are second-class people and can’t be allowed to think for themselves. They’re opposed to abortion, but are also opposed to women having access to affordable birth control. Therefore, if they’re not going to let a woman decide her own health issues, they’re not going to encourage equality anywhere else or for anyone else. I’ve also never understood how a party that is for less government seems to want to stick government’s nose into so many parts of people’s private lives.

    Don’t even get me started on these idiots being on science committees and other similar groups …

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  5. Marie-Jacqueline

    I’w aware about the nonsense some Rebulicans pose as scientific evidence founded in their religious believes.
    If it wasn’t about a serious matter, it would be funny!

    (Good picture by the way!)

    I don’t know if you heard about the book: “Not under my roof” by
    Amy Schalet, author of Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens and the Culture of Sex.
    She is assistant professor of sociology, University Massachusetts, Amherst.

    What got her interested in the studying the differences between American and Dutch approaches to teen sexuality?
    She was born in the U.S., but grew up in the Netherlands.
    When she moved back to the USA at 21,she was stunned to find out that teen pregnancy was a problem in the U.S. Growing up in the netherlands, she had not known of anyone [getting] pregnant.

    She comes with interesting conclusions comparing the Netherlands and the US.
    The Netherlands:
    As you mentioned much lower teen pregnancy, much lower abortion rate,
    significant less STD’s, more safe sex, sex-education starting at primary school, ofcourse adepted to that peticular agegroup.

    USA:
    All these figures much higher.
    Sexeducation not present or very limited. Abstinence is the keyword

    I place the link to the website so you can read the article yourself:
    http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/14/mind-reading-what-we-can-learn-from-the-dutch-about-teen-sex/

    The site of Planned Parenthood (I know some Americans get hysteric hearing that name) is also very intersting. They want to adept the Dutch view on this subject to the American conditions.

    I’m very curious what your opinion is!

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    • My opinion is that no one has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body. Yes, I think Planned Parenthood is kind of the American version of the Rutgers Stiching. They come to my kids’ school when they are getting sex ed, but that’s a progressive private school. Unfortuntely, the vast majority of teens in America don’t get any info at all at school.

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  6. Todd Akin is an ignorant ass.
    Richard Mourdock is an ignorant superstitious ass.

    That poster and this post . . . rock! Write on!

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  7. Barbara, I was perhaps unclear…

    Of course sex ed helps. And that some schools in TX offer the “plus” education is excellent. (Better than nothing, absolutely!)

    But, does that change the overall picture in this state? No, I don’t think so. Most schools don’t bring up the subject. Or, as Marie-Jacqueline says, it is very limited. Meaning, Texas still got a long way to go. Very long.

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  8. All this just makes me so angry! OF COURSE women should have a right over their own bodies!! I mean, WTF?????? (pardon me, but I get really angry)

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  9. You’re so cool! I do not believe I’ve truly read something like this before. So great to discover another person with unique thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!

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