Dark Christianity
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May 2008
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American Academy of Pediatrics' Position on Abstinence

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]britzkrieg)

CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- A leading group of pediatricians says teenagers need access to birth control and emergency contraception, not the abstinence-only approach to sex education favored by religious groups and President Bush.

The recommendations are part of the American Academy of Pediatrics' updated teen pregnancy policy.

"Even though there is great enthusiasm in some circles for abstinence-only interventions, the evidence does not support abstinence-only interventions as the best way to keep young people from unintended pregnancy," said Dr. Jonathan Klein, chairman of the academy committee that wrote the new recommendations...

Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said counseling only abstinence, preferably until marriage, is the best approach because it sends a clear, consistent message...

The Medical Institute for Sexual Health, a nonprofit group that has worked on pro-abstinence programs with the Bush administration and faith-based groups, opposes the academy's policy shift.

"I don't think it's a smart move at all," said group founder Dr. Joe McIlhaney Jr., an obstetrician-gynecologist.

However, Karen Pearl, interim president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said the academy "is to be applauded ... for having medicine trump ideology."

HHS' Horn also said advising pediatricians to ensure that teens have access to emergency contraception is problematic for doctors and parents who morally object to the pills. He faulted the report for lacking guidance on what to do when pediatricians' moral views differ from their patients' parents.

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