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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Run For Your Lives, I Am About To Explode

Nope, not an episode of Heroes or 24. I am incensed and flummoxed and just plain flabbergasted about this news story.

I am going on a rant here, and I may or may not refine it later, but I cannot help myself.

A school system is Portland, Maine is considering whether to give birth control to girls in MIDDLE SCHOOL! Middle school is 6-8 graders. Apparently, they have discovered five girls who are reporting to have had sex. They will do it with a parent's "written permission" as if a 7th grade girl who is dumb enough to get pregnant isn't smart enough to fake a parents note. (UPDATE: The vote was 10-2 to allow the distribution of birth control without parental notification or approval!)

Forget about the debate over birth control. Regardless of what the Catholic Church wants, it happens and there is nothing they can do to stop it. I don't advocate eliminating birth control anyway. I find it to be a responsible action.

Forget the nonsense about with whom the responsibility for birth control rests. It rests with both parties, but girls/women should be smart enough to not trust boys/men and make their own arrangements.

What we have here is the government, who will not allow my children to take a Motrin or Tylenol when they have a period without a parent sending the aforementioned medication to the school nurse, handing out birth control pills and patches to the same child with a fake note from a parent!

Is it the role of government to provide birth control? Do we really want people who can't teach our children geometry or even what decade World War II was fought to determine the best method to prevent my 12-14 year old from getting pregnant? Holy cow, the word GOD isn't allowed in school, but the words sex, and orgasm, and everything else that involves pregnancy is fair game?

"Just say NO" actually works. It prevents drug use, AIDS, teen pregnancy, alcohol related deaths, most lung cancer, boating accidents, stubbed toes, and anything to which you care to apply it. I am not stupid, I know kids have sex and that with each generation the age where innocence is lost becomes younger. What I also know is that we as a society can change this fact. All it would take is a little common sense and the eradication of socially irresponsible liberalism.

My 17 year old says no. I hear the chuckles now, but KNOW that she says no because she has told me that she says no. (Yes, this is the same boneheaded teenager from an earlier post today) She has her eye on college and has had friends who are sexually active and one that became pregnant. She is adamant that she will not be a teen mother, a single mother, or a mother who regrets missing out on her entire life because she traded a lifetime of happiness for 3 minutes of pleasing some boyfriend. She sees her real dad who is 34 and on his 3rd marriage who can't even support himself, much less pay child support for the three families to which he has some obligation because he made stupid decisions early in life.

But this isn't about saying no to sex or drugs. It isn't about whether to have sex ed. It is about a moral and medical decision that should be left to a child and her parents being appropriated by a government school district who thinks they are smarter than parents. You want to provide birth control to my kids through a school nurse? Fine, we can talk about it. But before we do, each teacher can can contribute $20 a pay check to pay for the pills and patches, and understand that it won't happen unless they dispense it when I appear with my child and ASK for it. I bet they are fiscal conservatives with their own money.

We have to say no to this kind of lunacy. We have to make common sense common again.

128 Posts From Readers:

Dora said...

She has her eye on college and has had friends who are sexually active and one that became pregnant. She is adamant that she will not be a teen mother, a single mother, or a mother who regrets missing out on her entire life because she traded a lifetime of happiness for 3 minutes of pleasing some boyfriend. She sees her real dad who is 34 and on his 3rd marriage who can't even support himself, much less pay child support for the three families to which he has some obligation because he made stupid decisions early in life.

But wouldn't distributing birth control prevent these kinds of situations? Isn't that the whole point of distributing birth control -- preventing teen pregnancy, single motherhood, etc.?

Dora said...

Also, i love this "because she traded a lifetime of happiness for 3 minutes of pleasing some boyfriend. "

Because it couldn't have possibly been that she wanted it or it was about her pleasure?

I love how you are denying women any sexuality. :)

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Dora, I really did wanted to focus the conversation and stay on topic.

Forget about the intent of birth control. Of course it would prevent pregnancies. That isn't my point. Why do we rely on it, and why would we rely on the government to provide it? It is about RESPONSIBILITY, not effectiveness.

I will say that I have no desire to deprive any female of sexuality or pleasure.

So I ask, do you think a 16 or 17 year old boy has the knowledge to provide that pleasure? Or could provide it for more than 3 minutes?LOL

Dora said...

I'm just not sure what your beef is with this program. here are some options:

- that it's taxpayer dollars
- that it's done without parental consent
- that it's middle school

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Explode as you wish my friend and know that I will be JOINING YOU!

The problem with you common sense idea is that liberal influence has taken control of government schools and to them this makes perfect sense!

ECOPHOTOS said...

Hi Robert. I have read several of your earlier articles about taking responsibility for one's actions, but I am not convinced this particular story is worth getting hot under the collar about. A few points:

Children do not always act in a responsible manner (as there are a great many adults who do not either).

Not all parents do the right thing with respect to discussing sexuality with their offspring. If parents are remiss, and other authorities (i.e., school, law enforcement, etc) spot risky behaviors, why should they stand back and say/do nothing and let accidents happen? That seems crazy too.

What is wrong with $20 a month for birth control compared with the cost of pre-natal care and childbirth, or the cost of an abortion, or the cost to a young life ruined by an early pregnancy? It seems to me that $20 a month is the cheapest, most preventative, most practical option of all.

Last, but by no means least, I saw this controversy unfold in France where I was living during the 1990s. France, please recall, is a predominantly Catholic country where the church teaches abstinance and disapproves of contraception and abortion. Yet, the government was facing a rash of teenage pregnancies and needed to act.

The French solution was similar to the one in the story. The gov. handed out free condoms and birth control to any teenagers identified as high risk. No questions asked. The cost to French taxpayers? Less than a fraction of a percent of what it would have cost to in terms of health and social welfare costs. Sounds like a bargain to me.

Unlike the U.S., the French are more open about matters of sexuality and more practical at acknowledging quirks of human behavior that send Puritanical Americans into a nosedive.

Yes, our goal should be a self-reliant and take-responsibility-for-yourself public. But sometimes, life doesn't work that way, and the more practical solution results in least cost to the public.

ECOPHOTOS said...

Postscript for Robert:
I have been recommending your site to some of my liberal friends. I hope you don't mind. Regardless of party or persuasion, I think the time has come for us reach across the table and join hands in friendship. There is so much more we can accomplish when we are engaged in healthy dialogue.

Link as follows:
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=11701053&postID=771865985913141117

rockync said...

Robert, I read this post earlier and had to just leave and think about it a while. I share your concerns as I am a firm believer in allowing parents to best judge how and when to have the sex talk. I also realize that not all parents are that responsible and the idea of a pregnant 12 year old really concerns me. I'm no proponent of nanny government, and I don't think indiscriminant access to birth control pills in pubescents is such a hot idea. So, what to do? First, don't go crazy and just try to see both sides. As you said yourself, your own daughter knows girls that have gotten pregnant. That is not good, more unwanted, abused or neglected children we don't need. Allow young girls access to drugs with some serious side effects is also not good. Perhaps an on campus councelling area where these kids can get information and support and, if they are determined to continue sexual activity, a condom. Bottom line, children need to be safe and somebody has to step up to the plate.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Eco, first let me say that I looked at the referal, and I tender a very sincere thank you. It was very kind. I hope that i don't disappoint. I had another blog friend who is very liberal, and he and I exchanged a good deal of debate between his place and mine. Unfortunately, I think he confused "Civil dialogue" with "me converting to liberalism" as being the same thing, and eventually accused me of being addicted to the GOP talking points.

I am one of the harshest critics of the GOP that you will find on the right end of the blogosphere universe. I can tell you a dozen things, and I have posted about most of them, where I disagree with my party. I am first a conservative, and second a republican because of the two parties, the GOP most closely resembles my beliefs and ideology. Unfortunately, that is becoming less and less so.
I welcome you, your friends, and their friends. Here is the first post I made when I started this place:

Thanks for coming, and please post as much and as often as you wish. Here I will offer simple observations and commentary on the events of the day, and issues of our time. Post serious, non-serious, rabidly incoherent, or as vacuous as you wish. For those on the left who will detect a substantial rise in your blood pressure, rest assured that I will not delete your posts - as has been done to me on several left wing sites. Debate is encouraged, perspectives welcomed, and analogies shattered. One caveat - hatred, violence, criminal, or libelous speech will be sent to the recycle bin. I don't believe in political correctness, but I do believe in civil debate and respectable behavior.

Other than that, come back often and rip me open!

As long as everyone adheres to this concept, we will have a great time wasting our time on these dad blamed computers.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Rocky, welcome to my house. Please make yourself at home and visit as often as you wish. I can honestly say that while my regulars are passionate, and occasionally someone has a short fuse (mostly me...lol) we enjoy good discussions and the give and take. I like to think I have the equivilent of the old back yard fence here.

Ok, so on with the topic.

I know that not all parents are responsible. I know that some of these girls cannot/will not talk to their parents as openly as mine do. Please don't take me as being naive; my daughters have secrets, and I am not oblivious to that. However, we have very open discussions and no topics are taboo, and since my kids talk to my wife and I about these issues I have no reason to think they are deceptive about them. Also, please don't ever take anythign I say here as arrogant or that I think I have all the answers or am the perfect parent/boss/veteran or anything else. I just try and exercise some common sense and love with my kids.

The problem I have is not with the kids having birth control. I favor responsible decision making, and it is preferable to prevent a pregnancy thatn to have a 15 year old single mother on welfare or medicaid or other programs.

I just think that the government has no place being the babysitter for the public, and I would be outraged if I found out that medical and moral decisions were being made at school and I had no knowledge of this fact.

We MUST stop making excuses for bad or unwanted behavior and re-establish responsibility and accountability. If we begin reinforcing negative behaviors at the age of 12, how do we have the right to expect responsible actions at 18?

I would gladly pay for birth control for my daughters if they desire it. We have discussed this several times and at length. That is another point - I will pay for MY daughters if they desire it. I do not believe that I should pay for someone else's birth control at the age of 12.

Children DO need to be safe. For you who are new, I was in law enforcement for almost a decade and have seen abused/neglected children, and the most disgusting environments where they lived. I just don't think that a public Middle School is the proper place to provide birth control.

ECOPHOTOS said...

Actually, Robert, it is not my intention to convert you. I respect you too much for that. But I do think we share many common values, although we may not always agree on their public policy implementations.

As mentioned in a previous comment, my views are eclectic, very liberal on some issues, conservative on others. There are linguistic roots in the words "conservation" and "conservative" and "libertarian" and "liberal." There is common ground for us to explore. I mean that sincerely.

As you may know, my recent avocation is wildlife photography. The former governor of my state, the brother of our current president, commissioned my work to hang in his cabinet meeting room. So, you see, I am not an extremist partisan by any definition.

rockync said...

You said:
"I just think that the government has no place being the babysitter for the public, and I would be outraged if I found out that medical and moral decisions were being made at school and I had no knowledge of this fact." And
"I just don't think that a public Middle School is the proper place to provide birth control."

I do agree with you on these essential points, but it still leaves a large crack for kids who aren't as fortunate as yours or mine to have responsible, caring parents to get the help and guidance they need. And therein lies my dilemma; I support parents like you (my children are all adults now) who do not want their parental rights usurped by government but I worry about those kids that don't have that kind of guidance. What kind of home life does a 10-12 year old have that they think it's ok for them to have sex? I'd say once an educator is aware or suspects sexual activity then they should be required to report it to social services, but we know how much good that would do since most of these agencies are ill equipped and overburdened already. There has got to be a way to catch the kids falling in the crack without circumventing the rights of responsible parents.
BTW, thank you for inviting me to hang out in your back yard. I'll try to mind my manners although I'll prewarn you that I am 1)female 2)postmenopausal 3)guilty of posessing a rather dry wit and somewhat twisted sense of humor! Seriously, I came over to check you out because eco said you had a conservative view but enjoyed spirited debate with mutual respect. My kind of place!

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Rocky, you don't have a profile...is that Rocky Mount, NC by chance?

Manners are not required, and we do get spirited sometimes. You can't have spirited debate without passion and the occasionalinsult, now can you? lol

Dry wit and twisted humor is especially welcome here. I also have a wife, three daughters, and a female dog. My son and I have no fear of estrogen whatsoever....

ou guys should check out some of my "Highly Recommended", as they have the same basic outlook as I, and while we are all a bit partisan, appreciate the differences and the debates. You will have to forgive the mutual admiration society we have going on....

ECOPHOTOS said...

To get back to the thread, I agree with you and Rockync about a distrust for nanny government and an especially deep distrust of the potential for Big Brother abuse of our privacy and family life.

Your description of how you raise your kids is actually very close to mine. I have three daughters, all college grads, one an officer in the Army (two Bronze Stars and Seven Distinguished service citations, she the hardest working, most determined person I have even known in life). Yes, I did work hard to raise them. In fact, I raised the first two as a single dad because I lost my first wife at aged 30.

Along with Rockync, my concern is the less than intact families, and the less than good parenting that compromises young people. But, gee, it breaks my heart to do nothing. In that respect, I do see a role for government that respects human dignity and basic freedoms. That role need not violate these concepts.

Dora said...

That is another point - I will pay for MY daughters if they desire it. I do not believe that I should pay for someone else's birth control at the age of 12.

I view it as a choice: I can pay for their birth control at the age of 12, or I can pay for their welfare and kid's welfare at the age of 15.

I am wholeheartedly with the arguments presented here regarding the fact that many children don't live in happy, supportive, open honest homes.

Who should tell these children about sex? birth control? Many of these kids don't have health insurance, so they cannot afford to pay for a doctor to prescribe them the pill or other birth control and then pay full price for that birth control every month.

The implication that if you have teen sex, you will end up pregnant and ruining your life is also silly, and counterproductive. The average age of virginity loss in the US is 17, but the percentage of women who become pregnant underage, and give birth is quite small.

To help people, all people, not ruin their lives like that, we should be helping them make the right, informed choices.

I think it is deeply misguided to just say "don't have sex" to 15, 16, 17, 18 year olds, and then pretend that the consequences from them having sex don't happen. Many people, like Mike Huckabee, like to analogize teen sex to smoking. But it's not. I think i analogizes better to driving or eating. WE don't pretend that people will just stop driving or eating because it can end up in very dangerous, even deadly circumstances. We, instead, try to teach them how to do it in a healthy way, like wearing seat belts, and having airbags, and driving defensively, and eating right and exercising, etc.

I think most Americans are still far away from accepting that teens will and do have sex, that they are sexual beings, and that it is normal.

rockync said...

LOL Robert, that warm fuzzy feeling will fade pretty quick once we get on a topic we really disagree about!
One of these days I will probably do the blogger thing but I'm just too busy now. I do live in North Carolina, but the Rocky moniker comes from my dialysis nursing days. If we're still friends in the future, maybe I'll tell the whole "Rocky" story.
On topic, Swampcracker(ecophotos) brings up a viable concept, if only we HAD a government like that.
"In that respect, I do see a role for government that respects human dignity and basic freedoms. That role need not violate these concepts."
Both you guys sound like you have great families and have done a good job. My husband and I raised 4 boys so I know how tough it can be. (They were more afraid of me than of him-got that whip out and CRACK!) ;)

rockync said...

Dora, while I think 15 to 18 year olds are probably too young for sex and all that goes with it, I'm just as sure they will go out and do it anyway. Many states have clinics set up to provide education and birth control for this age bracket.
I find something deeply disturbing about giving birth control to 10-12 year olds without looking into their motivation. Surely this is so terribly young by anyone's standard.
Robert's concern is that under Maine's plan, the potential exists for a child to get birth control without the parent's knowledge thus circumventing responsible parents from their right to make medical and moral decisions with their minor children.
So, there must be a way to get information to children who aren't getting it at home without usurping the right of responsible parents to teach their children as they see fit.

Tapline said...

Wow!This really ruffeled some feathers. I do not know if I can adequately verbalize what I truely feel as it relates to government intervention into our families. I agree with you Bobert 100%. It is not the school's responsibility. Big brother is indeed watching and the Schools are a breeding groumd for such Undermining of our youth and the destruction of our Nuclear families. It does not take a village to raise a family. It takes a loving family with as much extended family help as possible. What are the schools telling our 10 to 12 year olds as it relates to sex. It is their job to educate not indoctrinate and you are sending a message to pliable minds that its OK to have sex just use protection. Not to mention the possible long term health hazzard.(remember the deformed babies born after women went off the pill to have a child?) AS far as reporting a family to a social service agency for investigation if you suspected a child of being sexually active is unconscionable. That unfortunately is the thinking today and it flies in the face of parental responsibility. Big Brother knows how to parent better than the parent. This had been proven false many times over, but it is still being pushed as appropriate behavior for the people who think they know better. I'm hear to tell you that the government is no appropriate nor effective caregiver. Can a Social Worker show love to a client. No they might, might be able to empathize and if they go further they burn out because they can't take the pressure. A court does not surfice as a parent. No, only as a last resort does Social services become involved and as far as I know. at this time that is not grounds for an appropriate referral. I think the school is overstepping its bounds in even thinking they should prescribe birth control pills to any student. Many laws have been passed in different states to protect children and in some state allowing schools to act as parent, where an abortion is antisipated,and there is an underlying reason where the parent should not be contacted, in an instance like that I believe it requires a courts order, but its conceivable or could happen. Off topic, It is my understanding that California has just passes a law to remove mom and day from their textbooks because it might unset children from civil unions. Politically correct you kknow....What wrong with that !! and the beat goes on......I ramble...stay well....

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Tapline, welcome! Please visit as often as you wish, because we enjoy some great debates here (I am, of course, biased about the quality).

Rocky, During my Marine Corps service, my home was over in Jacksonville at Camp Lejeune. My parents lived near Rocky Mount for a couple of years a decade or so ago. I love NC, and if I had to choose a place other than my native Alabama it would be NC.

Never fear, we shall remain friends. The lack of warm and fuzzy over an issue is never personal, nor is it grounds to terminate a relationship. If that were the case, I would have been divorced two days after being married and my kids would be exiled somewhere.

As far as the responses go, I will return and comment. The vote was last night, and it passed 10-2 to allow birth control handouts without parental notification.

But I have a 700 am meeting and must go. Be back in a bit.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Eco, I do have concern for young people who do not have parental involvement and it is more the norm that they do not discuss these matters with their families. My issue is one that is based on the root of conservatism – personal responsibility and a role of government that is the least intrusive possible.

We have government services now that take the form of DHR or DHS or whatever initials it has in your state. It doesn’t work the way it should work. A personal example that I have written about here before: When my wife and I were both in law enforcement, we worked different shifts for a long time. In our home, lying is one of the worst possible offenses. One morning when my daughter was about 7, she told me a lie about something and I told her that I was going to beat her butt for it. I spanked her, enough to draw a couple of tears and some sniffles. No marks, no electric cords, no cigarette burns, no bruises – just a little spanking. When she got to school her teacher asked what was wrong because she had red eyes. She said “My daddy beat me”. Within two hours I had a phone call from a DHR worker and a knock on my door to interview me. I appreciate the response to the concern, but contrast it to this: In Alabama, if a single mother is a drug addict that doesn’t work and leaves a child with the grandparents for days at a time and disappears, it is not considered grounds for losing custody of the child.

Dora, you raise a point that is my thrust the other post yesterday. Why is there only two choices? Pay for birth control or pay for welfare? Why do we have to do either?

I think most Americans recognize that teens have sex. I disagree that we should abandon all principles and goals by recognizing that there is nothing we can do about it. People don’t stop driving because it can be dangerous, but the government doesn’t supply them a professional driver and safety devices to make sure they aren’t injured, either.

My point was not the efficiency or responsibility of teens or adults using birth control. I am all for it if they are going to be sexually active.

Rocky, I think this goes further than “circumventing” my rights as a parent. The issue was voted upon last night to allow the distribution of birth control without parental notification. The government in this case has assumed the role of parent from people who might otherwise be perfect parents and the kids are just afraid to talk to them about sex. (Don’t mistake this next comment as paranoia or as me being a conspiracy nut, it is just a question of logical progression.) If the government wants to use the high schools to determine what college my kids go to or what profession they will enter without parental involvement, is that much of a difference? The power of the government to make decisions about my children’s future is intrusive, and far above the proper role of same.

Shaw said...

What we have here is the government, who will not allow my children to take a Motrin or Tylenol when they have a period without a parent sending the aforementioned medication to the school nurse, handing out birth control pills and patches to the same child with a fake note from a parent!--Robert

Hang on just a minute. Was it here or on some other blog where I read how important “states’ rights” are in governing ourselves? In this story, it isn’t the federal government in DC deciding on how to handle this controversy, it is the local, duly elected members of the school board who have made the decision to allow birth control to be available to the middle school kids.

I thought that people here believe that states' rights are sacrosanct, a desirable thing—to have decisions made by locally elected people whose very children/grandchildren/relatives (perhaps) attend the school, to have the people who are ffected by these decisions making the decisions.

Now whether one agrees with what has happened in Portland, Maine, is another matter. Just understand that the people who came to this decision have absolutely no power over imposing it on your local school district, or anyone else’s. This is a local matter and if the people of Portland disagree with it, then they must vote those members of the school board out—this is the way the controversy over the Kansas State Board of Education was handled when it ruled that evolution did NOT have to be taught in Kansas public schools. Enough Kansans disagreed with that, and so they voted those people out of office and the ruling was overturned. This is how democracy works at the local level.

This is a matter for Portland, Maine. You may not agree, but there is nothing insidious about how the decision was made.

Conservative Chic said...

Wow, Robert! Gone a few days and I come back to Mr Popularity! Good job and great post!

My feelings are basic and to the point. School boards should not be allowed to make the decision to give out birth control pills. Yes, I have heard the arguements about children that have no guidance at home at it is tragic. I understand where you are coming from, but I just don't think that overcedes a parents right to discuss/give out birth control pills.

I loved your comparison with Tylenol in school. It's completely true. To get the schools to distribute medication you need to fill out all kinds of paperwork.

I am not naieve enough to think that middle school children are not having sex. My 10 year old came home asking about what sex is and we had a most interesting and enlightening conversation about it. My 8 year old was involved too. You have to start early these days.

There is a fine line between school and home and the decisions being made. By giving them out, that's as good as saying that it's okay. That should not be the school's decision. It should be a parents. If they do this, where will it end? Handing out condoms? Giving the children handouts where to have an abortion? If you let the schools make these kinds of decisions, it will never end. If a child gets hurt at school, who do they call? The parent!

I just had an instance where my son had a seizure at school. They called ME in to decide what should be done. Should they have called an ambulance? No, it was my decision and mine alone!

Rocky and Eco.....A pleasure to meet both of ya! I look forward to some good debating. Well, after the party, that is. :-)

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Jenn, that will teach you to have a real life. Welcome back - hope the Halloween party planning is going well - You still have VIP status here even with the sabbaticals that T-P has made extremely frustrating when he disappears for days and weeks on end. I think he has an alter-ego as a caped crusader or something...

Conservative Chic said...

VIP status, phew, (takes a huge breath of relief)!!

Man, sometimes I can be such a smartass sometimes! LOL

Seriously though, I'm glad I'm still welcomed here! :-)

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Shaw, you didn't read it here, but I am a huge proponent of state's rights. I won't get into why, but perhaps I should post on it.

Nowhere in my post did I say this was the federal government. Nowhere did discuss anything except how a government school system was making these decisions.

It does reflect a liberal agenda, and it is a government entity, and it is equally wrong regardless of the level of government.

rockync said...

Hi chic, Glad to make your acquaintance. I believe in spirited debate conducted with mutual respect and seems I've found a place where that is possible.
You may not be naive about middle school kids having sex, but I'm shocked and appalled! My sons are all adults so I'm out of the loop but seems to me 10 year old girls should still be playing Barbie. Boy, am I out of touch! Now I'll need to rethink what me and my grandaughters talk about.
I also think handing minor children information and giving them an avenue to obtain birth control is irresponsible and inappropriate for a government enitity. While Shaw points out that this is a Portland, ME decision, I think the presedent it sets could lead other local governments to look at their model.
I still think that some sort of councelling should be set up for children who have no one else to turn to, but seems the school board could have chosen to send these handouts by mail to the parents and let them decide on the course their talks with their children should take. Like Swampcracker, I worry about those children whose parents just don't give a hoot. They are the ones at highest risk for unwanted pregnancy and STDs.

Dora said...

I just had an instance where my son had a seizure at school. They called ME in to decide what should be done. Should they have called an ambulance? No, it was my decision and mine alone!

What if they couldn't reach you for some reason? What then?

I still think that some sort of councelling should be set up for children who have no one else to turn to, but seems the school board could have chosen to send these handouts by mail to the parents and let them decide on the course their talks with their children should take.

What if the kid wants the birth control, but the parents won't allow it, for whatever reason? Maybe at age 10, there is a gray area, but what about 15, 16, 17? Should the parents be able to prevent the kid from getting medical care/prescription drugs the kid wants? What about other medical care and drugs, like those Christian Scientists who oppose treatment for all kinds of ailments for their children? Does the child, who is 15, 16, 17, not have any autonomy?

There is something suspect in that for me.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

We have an age of acountability in the law. The parent has the final decision in all medical cases until he child reaches the age of majority. Why is birth control any different?

Shaw said...

Nowhere in my post did I say this was the federal government. Nowhere did discuss anything except how a government school system was making these decisions.--Robert

I know you didn't say it was the federal government involved. I was emphasizing the fact that this is a state's rights issue, and that a lot of conservatives consider that an important issue.

In Kansas, a government school system decided that an entire state did NOT have to teach evolution. Now, because you probably agree with that, you also probably see no harm in government interference in that instance.

But to a great many Americans, that decision reflected a conservative agenda.

IMHO, both issues could have a profound impact on school children.

Here is more on the story:

http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=140910&ac=PHnws

Shaw said...

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...
We have an age of acountability in the law. The parent has the final decision in all medical cases until he child reaches the age of majority. Why is birth control any different?


What about the parent to belongs to a religion that proscribes blood transfusions, or any sort of medical intervention, and as a result the child is placed in mortal danger?

Who has the right to step in and protect that child?

You do understand that the "state" has ultimate control over your children if a parent places that child in danger.

rockync said...

Dora said:
"Maybe at age 10, there is a gray area, but what about 15, 16, 17? Should the parents be able to prevent the kid from getting medical care/prescription drugs the kid wants?"

Age 10 for me is a black area, no question this child should NOT be making these decisions.
As for the older kids, yes, until they reach legal adult age, their parents are still in control of what kind of medical care and prescription drugs are appropriate for their child. In life or death situations where there is questionable parental decisions, there is a long history of judicial intervention. This age group can usually get condoms pretty easily so there is no need for government intervention to remove the parent from the equation when it comes to decisions about what kind of drugs their children are putting in their bodies.
For the school board to make parents aware that their children may be involved in or hearing about sex would be an appropriate response to the information they gathered. To decide to offer these youngsters birth control is not. That is the parents' job.
BTW, I never gave my children everything they asked for. I determined whether what they desired was safe and useful and deserved.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Shaw, I have problems with any group/philosophy/ideology that advocates limiting the spread of information. I do have a problem with teaching only creation and ignoring evolution. Government interference is government interference.

That being said, you stated that the school system in Kansas said that they did not HAVE to teach evolution. This is a far cry from mandating one side or another. Man has evolved. We have gone from discovering fire to discovering DNA and travel to other planets. Were we orginally a one cell organism without the power of a creator? No. However, evolution is a scientific theory, just as is the theory that we could colonize Mars. I believe that in an academic environment that NOTHING be off limits for discussion and study. Do I want my kids indoctrinated in Nazism or Communism? Of course not, but these things need to be studied.

I personally think that those people who refuse medical care for a child because of religious principles are deluded and living in an alternate reality. God wants us to have faith, but he also said that he helps those who help themselves. God gave us free will and an intellect. I do not believe that he would have us allow a child to die because we didn't take advantage of that intellect.

In these cases, there is established law and a system that the state should take control of those medical decisions. I think in those instances, it is right and just.

ECOPHOTOS said...

Conservative Chic, apologies for the delay in getting back here and my wholehearted thanks for your warm welcome. I'll rejoin this thread later (gotta do some work).

heidianne jackson said...

state's rights are not more sacrosanct than a person's individual freedoms, including parental right to raise our children as we see fit.

it is a slippery slope to give any government entity control over parents, medical decisions, education, etc. that being said, shaw is correct in stating that there is a way to reverse this decision if desired by the locality.

Shaw said...

"...it is a slippery slope to give any government entity control over parents, medical decisions, education, etc..."

heidianne,

we DO give our government control over our children where it includes medical and educational issues. For example, parents cannot opt out of educating their kids--they have a choice: public, private, or home schooling, but they MUST educate their children or the state can remove the children from parental authority.

Robert and I pointed out that parents may not place their children in mortal danger as a result of following some religious practices or rituals--the state can take children away from parents who do this.

I believe at some point, one could not enroll one's child in a public school (private, too?) unless the child had been vaccinated against smallpox. That was a requirement imposed by the government.

If a small child is seen riding in a car and is not in an appropriate car seat, that child can be taken and the parents charged with child endangerment. The same can happen if a parent leaves a child unattended in a car, stroller, etc. It happens.

Parents must comply with these laws or they lose their children--although not permanently, unless there is severe abuse of any sort involved, then, of course, for the child' safety and well being, that is appropriate.

Dora said...

I think we need to clarify what the existing law on this topic is: namely, parents' control over children's medical care. There is such a thing as doctor-patient confidentiality, and I don't know how it gels with being a minor.

For example, I got prescription birth control from my doctor when I was a minor with no parental consent. I was 17. Incidentally, please note, my life is not ruined.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Dora, did you pay for the doctor and the prescriptions yourself? Did your parents know you even went to the doctor?

Dora said...

I was on my parents' health insurance plan. I paid the copay and for the drugs. They didn't know I had gone to the doctor. They wouldn't not have minded, as I found out when I told them, but i thought they would have, so I kept it secret.

The insurance plan also keeps each patient's records confidential.

At 17, I felt like I was responsible enough to make this decision by myself, and I still think I did exactly the right thing. I would hate to think that there are parents out there who would somehow veto their children's decisions on these topics.

Like I said earlier, I think most Americans are quite queasy about the idea of "minors" having sex, they want to simply deny that they are sexual beings, that it's normal to want to have sex at 16, 17, 18, etc. I feel like many people just want to put their head in the sand and pretend this isn't true, and thereby, will it out of existence. But that's not how reality works.

heidianne jackson said...

shaw, i didn't say that we don't hand over some of the controls, i said it is a slippery slope - and i stand by that statement. with each thing that we say "yes the government should mandate this or mandate that" we are opening up a larger ability for the government to completely take over our lives.

as for the vaccinations, you can refuse to vaccinate your children on religious or personal beliefs, but you must sign a paper that says your child will not be permitted to go to school if there is an outbreak of whatever disease a vaccination is missing. at this point the government is not forcing parents to go against their core beliefs so far as vaccinations are concerned.

dora, i agree that at 17 you were probably sophisticated enough to make the decision for yourself. in many states, girls 15 and over can purchase birth control without parental permission and i have no problem with that.

as a parent, however, i do have the right to request my child's medical records - which is also appropriate as until he or she reaches the age of majority (unless emancipation is granted) i am fiscally, physically (and in my opinion) morally responsible for the child. as my youngest is nearly 15, i don't go into the dr.'s room with any of my kids anymore (well unless i'm asked by my child) - but i do talk with the dr. at the end of the visit to get the skinny on the diagnosis and treatments...

i think you sell people short, dora, by claiming that most do not realize that teenagers are sexual beings. i think we all realize it, some are just more comfortable with that thought than others.

i, like my mother before me, put each of my daughters on the pill when she got her period. i teach them that they should be careful and abstain until they believe they are absolutely ready, but that i understand they may think they're ready before i do.

so far, it has worked well for me. my oldest is 20 and not pregnant. my sister, on the other hand, took herself off the pill when she turned 18 - says she wasn't sexually active so she didn't want to do that. yep, you guessed it - pregnant at 19 and first baby at 20. seems things got out of hand with her boyfriend one night and voila! she was suddenly sexually active. but she was 18, it was her choice...

i know i've gone on and on, but i thought to try to illustrate my point...

btw, shaw, i was agreeing with you that it was appropriate for the vote to carry as these were duly elected officials and there is a way to reverse it if truly desired. i was merely pointing out that the more things we turn over to the government, the more things they'll take our of our purvue. i hope this makes my position clearer.

nanc said...

i see dora and her eco-buddy have found you - she's been busted at a couple of our sites and is just moving along trying to sow discord wherever she can.

you see, dora's been on b.c. since she was an ugly third grader - right about the time she went into her phd. program:

P = robably

H = as

D = iseases, many of them and does not like to go it alone...

ignore the troll and you'll be much better off - ask anybody in mine and many other sidebars. eco-madman is one of her sidekicks. better yet, check out her blog and sidebar, but be forewarned - they contain viruses...

nanc said...

eyes on you, dora...

*:]

Farmer John said...

FJ *giggles* like a schoolgirl.

Farmer John said...

The Farmer's daughter is 19 and still NOT pregnant...

Farmer John said...

...and his two unmarried sons (both over 21) are still NOT fathers.

Farmer John said...

...despite the efforts of liberals to undermine a parent's best efforts.

nanc said...

hehehe...

Always On Watch said...

Handing a packet of birth-control pills to a girl, is a double-edged sword. Yes, the reality is that teens engage in sexual activity and that pregnancy at an early age usually limits options for later in life. BUT that same packet of birth-control pills also allows for more sexual activity.

I have a very difficult job accepting that (1) middle-schoolers have what a child may well perceive as "approved" sex, (2) schools, via taxpayers' dollars, can hand out birth-control to not-yet-teens, (3) and the distribution can occur without parental consent.

Furthermore, no form of birth-control is 100% effective, close but not 100%.

For decades, schools have been encouraging parents to bow out, except for certain tasks. The pervading philosophy is that "we the school, the professional educators, knows best." This amounts to "You parents do the procreation, we educators to the rest." A recipe for failure, if I ever saw one.

Addendum: Just why has a community reached the point of problems with pregnancies in middle school? I don't recall that having been a trend previously.

nanc said...

not to mention, 11-13 year olds are not finished growing and some have not even begun menstruating.

an ob/gyn on tele this morning stated that there will more than likely be "height hindrance" and "unusual bleeding" in children this age.

farmer - i must be doing something wrong too - our 15 and 16 year olds have just in the last couple of months begun holding hands with their boyfriend and girlfriend - when our daughter heard this, she was simply aghast. of course, she's had the handicap of having BOTH parents in the home...

Dora said...

Nanc, it's pretty absurd that you care this much about me to come over to this blog and post all that. Get a life.

Always On Watch said...

I just stumbled upon this blogger's take on the same story:

Oh, and are you ready for the views of those who voted to encourage your 11-year old to have sex?

If my daughter were not able to talk with me about something, if she couldn't reach me for whatever reason, to keep her safe and healthy, I would want to make sure she had access to those resources from trusted adults.

Richard Verrier


Let me interpret what that actually means:

"If I suck so bad as a parent that my child won't talk to me about something as important as sex, I think she should talk to some strange adult who will encourage her to have sex. I'm glad that these strangers, who are government employees, and therefore completely trustworthy, but who might be pedophiles, will encourage my daughter to have sex often, perhaps even with them."

And much, much worse is what's also implied by this statement:

"In addition, not only do I trust complete stranger adults encouraging MY child to have promiscuous sex at age 11, I DEMAND that every other adult in the state of Maine equally trust random, unknown adults to encourage every one of their children to have open sex at age 11, too."...

Always On Watch said...

I thought it was tabu to prescribe birth-control pills without an ob/gyn exam. Maybe the schools in Maine are going to have such an exam room?

nanc said...

shut up, dora - i'll go where i please. the world is at my fingertips!

laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Dora said...

AOW, you're a teacher. Are you trustworthy? Are you a pedophile?

nanc said...

shut up, dora - aow is one of the MOST trustworthy people in the www! and the farthest "thing" from a pedophile you'll NEVER meet.

pervert.

Dora said...

You're just an idiot, nanc. Go back to your hole.

My point is that AOW isn't a pedophile and trustworthy, so why are you all assuming that all teachers and school workers are untrustworthy pedohiles?

nanc said...

YOU brought up pedophiles!

it's always something sick with you, eh dora?

Dora said...

Where did i bring up pedophiles? God, you really are just too dumb to carry on a conversation.

From AOW's post, directly above:

Let me interpret what that actually means:

"If I suck so bad as a parent that my child won't talk to me about something as important as sex, I think she should talk to some strange adult who will encourage her to have sex. I'm glad that these strangers, who are government employees, and therefore completely trustworthy, but who might be pedophiles, will encourage my daughter to have sex often, perhaps even with them."


I think it's AOW who's the pervert.

Shaw said...

AOW said:

Let me interpret what that actually means:

"If I suck so bad as a parent that my child won't talk to me about something as important as sex, I think she should talk to some strange adult who will encourage her to have sex. I'm glad that these strangers, who are government employees, and therefore completely trustworthy, but who might be pedophiles, will encourage my daughter to have sex often, perhaps even with them."


First of all, that "interpretation" is more about your prejudices and fears than about what the father actually means. He absolutely did not say what you "interpret."

Many times I have read or heard an adult advise a teen or preteen, who is having trouble with his/her parents, to talk to a trusted school advisor. Why do you assume that these counselors would do harm to children or even indescriminately hand out birth control devices to them? How do you know that any of them would try to talk to the student and encourage her/him to have more sex? Or even prey on her as a pedophile? What kind of a community do YOU live in? Talk about cynical and fearful. Wow.

AOW said:

And much, much worse is what's also implied by this statement:

"In addition, not only do I trust complete stranger adults encouraging MY child to have promiscuous sex at age 11, I DEMAND that every other adult in the state of Maine equally trust random, unknown adults to encourage every one of their children to have open sex at age 11, too."...


I don't know about what kind of community you were raised in, but when I was in school, and when my children were in school, parents got to know the people who worked in their children's schools, and parents made an effort to get to know who the guidance counselors and teachers were. And a great many of those teachers and guidance counselors were members of the same community in which I lived, and their children attended the same schools.

Your "interpretation" is wild, fearful and over the top. (Please note: I'm not attacking YOU personally--I'm saying the interpretation is all of those things, IMHO.)

I also reiterate that the vote was made in a truly democratic way--by the local school committee whose members are elected by the community to represent them. There is nothing sinister about this. If the people of that school district do not like what the committee has done, they can vote them out.

This does not affect you, AOW. Unless, of course, you happen to live in Portland, ME.

PS. I have two family members who work for the school system in Berwick, Maine. I can't wait to tell them your opinion of them is. Wow. Just Wow!

Dora said...

Shaw, don't forget, AOW is a teacher herself, I think a public school teacher. Also, as far as I understand, AOW is not a parent.

nanc said...

she is a homeschool teacher - high school - and teaches a multitude of subjects and is fluent in a few languages. she is pure brilliance and quite savvy.

her students have gone on to do great things in life.

she has worked in the public school arena and what she has to say about it's not pretty.

Shaw said...

"If my daughter were not able to talk with me about something, if she couldn't reach me for whatever reason, to keep her safe and healthy, I would want to make sure she had access to those resources from trusted adults." --Richard Verrier


AOW's interpretation of what the above said:

"If I suck so bad as a parent that my child won't talk to me about something as important as sex, I think she should talk to some strange adult who will encourage her to have sex. I'm glad that these strangers, who are government employees, and therefore completely trustworthy, but who might be pedophiles, will encourage my daughter to have sex often, perhaps even with them."

In addition, not only do I trust complete stranger adults encouraging MY child to have promiscuous sex at age 11, I DEMAND that every other adult in the state of Maine equally trust random, unknown adults to encourage every one of their children to have open sex at age 11, too." --AOW

AOW may be "brilliant" and speak a few languages, but that diatribe or "interpretation" reveals a somewhat disturbed mind, IMHO. And a very angry one, too. One wonders what happened to her somewhere in her earlier life...

Dora said...

Shaw, just for clarification, she was reposting someone else's interpretation. However, since she reposted it with her endorsement, we can more or less treat it as her own words.

I'd say she's disturbed because she's childless...

nanc said...

go back and read it.

it wasn't aow's statement - she cut and pasted from another blog - the statements are purely facetious.

talk about an idiot...

Shaw said...

it wasn't aow's statement - she cut and pasted from another blog - the statements are purely facetious.

talk about an idiot...
--nanc

That was not clear in her post. Sometimes people forget to cancel the tags for italics. I had no way of knowing she didn't mean herself when I read "Let me interpret what that actually means." I didn't go to the link.

Why did she post that trash?

Dora said...

Why did she post that trash? A great question. I'm assuming because she endorsed what it said.

Why did she have to bring up pedophiles? What a pervert.

I think she need some hysterical paroxysm therapy. It was very popular in Victorian England.

Does AOW teach sex ed? Evolution? That Sappho and Oscar Wilde were gay? If not, she's a fraud. If yes, she's corrupting your children! RUN FOR THE HILLS!

Shaw said...

BTW: If you read what the Portland paper has reported, you will see that parental permission is needed BEFORE a student may be treated at the Middle School's health center. If that permission does not exist, a student cannot get birth control counseling or a device. If you read the article carefully you will read that the student MUST HAVE HIS/HER PARENT'S PERMISSION TO BE TREATED AT THE HEALTH CENTER.


"Students who have parental permission to be treated at King
Middle School's health center would be able to get birth control
prescriptions under a proposal that the Portland School
Committee will consider Wednesday.


The proposal would build on the King Student Health Center's
practice of providing condoms as part of its reproductive health
program since it opened in 2000, said Lisa Belanger, a nurse
practitioner who oversees the city's student health centers.

If the committee approves the King proposal, it would be the
first middle school in Maine to make a full range of
contraception available to some students in grades 6 to 8, said
Nancy Birkhimer, director of teen health programs for the Maine
Department of Health and Human Services. Most middle
schoolers are ages 11-13.

Although students must have written parental permission to be
treated at Portland's school-based health centers,
state law
allows them to seek confidential health care and to decide
whether to inform their parents about the services they receive,
Belanger said.

Nothing in this takes parental authority away from the parents.

Nothing in this laws removes parental control. No student can receive these services without the written consent of his/her parents. But once that permission is given, the student has the right by state law to keep services confidential from his/her parents.

Dora said...

I don't really see how giving them contraceptives encourages them to have sex.

Presumably, they already had sex without contraceptives encouraging them to have sex, right?

Shaw said...

dora,

I don't know if you or anyone else here have been to a department store lately. Take a look in the underwear department for preteens. Thong panties and padded push-up bras for little girls. Why? Somebody's buying this stuff, and I'm sure it's not just "libruls." I've seen it for sale in the so-called Bible Belt.

People rail against schools trying to protect young girls from unprotected sex, but do they understand what our culture teaches young girls?

Have you ever watched a beauty pageant for 6 year old girls and seen how they're encouraged to wiggle their bottoms and wear make-up to look like miniature tarts? Do the people here who are aghast at a school trying to prevent teen pregnances also get their knickers in a twist over the sexualization of 6-year old "beauty" queens?

Dora said...

And those beauty pageants aren't held here in NYC. It's more of a Memphis, "values voters" kind of thing. The places that have the highest teen pregnancy rates are in the south. The worst children's health care -- the south. Etc.

One of the greatest sins perpetrated on our young people is abstinence-only education, because it jsut perpetuates ignorance, and study after study shows it doesn't work.

Dora said...

In my experience, it's the super-liberal feminists who are the greatest crusaders against preteen sexualization.

Shaw said...

Watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvrRORDp1Kk

sickening.

Dora said...

That is pretty mostrous and grotesque. I think the scariest parts are their plastic smiles and ridiculous hair and makeup.

nanc said...

as opposed to your own, dora?

Dora said...

As opposed to my own what, Nanc?

God, you can't even formulate a sentence correctly. Why don't you go clean a bathroom or something, that's what you're good at, it's your area of expertise.

nanc said...

so hateful - i have many areas of expertise.

as we speak, i'm becoming an expert on you.

Dora said...

Wow, that's pretty sad that you're so obsessed with me.

heidianne jackson said...

dora said "Presumably, they already had sex without contraceptives encouraging them to have sex, right?"

not necessarily. what about children who are only thinking about it? what about children who are being exploited and they do this to keep from getting pregnant? if they're not comfortable talking to their parents about sex, why would they be comfortable talking to anyone about molestation?

dora further said "One of the greatest sins perpetrated on our young people is abstinence-only education, because it jsut perpetuates ignorance, and study after study shows it doesn't work."

please point me to these studies as i would be interested in seeing how they are made up. abstinence-only education was taught successfully forever.

however, if you are teaching abstinence-only and everywhere around the child they see sex (let's face it, sex sells) the child is NOT going to buy into that line of thinking. it is, as shaw pointed out, impossible to isolate these kids from sexual images. things that were unacceptable even ten years ago are mainstream today.

just btw, dora, study after does prove that abstinence is the best protection against disease and pregnancy. teaching abstinence does not mean you are not educating the child about sex.

nanc said...

this lowers the bar for "pedophile" cases also.

all the pedophile has to say after this is, "hey, she was on birth control..."

Obob said...

When I see 78 comments, I don't time to read them all. So if I repeat someone, sorry.
But this is unacceptable. Children at this age group feel nothing bad can happen to them and their is no consequence. Sure they may use one the first or second time. But evntually they gt bored. Can you see the desperate moment when thy can't get one? Prego! STD! Happyville. Then we get lawsuits aganist the school board because they were enablers. I'd like to see the numbers on date rape in this age group. How about an increase or decrease in teen sucide? You know whay they say about the girl that puts out at an early age. Boys are studs, girls are sluts.
If I appear harsh, I just want to make sure we look at the big picture here.

Shaw said...

I have been following this story very carefully. (I live in New England and have cousins who live in Maine, two who work for Berwick, Maine, public schools).

As more facts emerge, we discover that the hysteria on the right is without foundation. I will post what the facts are--and if people here, including our host, Robert, are interested in accuracy, not rhetoric and hysteria, you all can verify them on your own, as I have:

The source for this information is the nurse coordinator of the Portland schoos, Amanda Rowe.

1) The program is meant for 14 and 15 year olds. Prepubescent girls won't be included

2) Parents have to consent by signing a form allowing their children to be treated by the health center. That form will clearly say that the center offers birth control services.

3) Girls seeking birth control will first receive comprehensive and detailed counseling with a school nurse about the physical impact of early sexual intercourse, encourage the girl to seek counsel with responsible, caring adults with whom she can talk, and whom the nurse would join the girl in helping her contact.

4) If the girl, as a last resort, still opts for birth control, she would be referred to the health center for more counseling. In cases where sexual contact violates state law, authorities would be notified (Maine statues forbid sex between minors and those who are 3 or more years older.)

5)The new policy is meant to address only a fraction of teens who lack resources, including money and attentive parents--possibly only 1 percent of students.

Baltimore, Maryland, has a similar program in place and from 1992 to 2004 saw a 40% drop in birth rates for teen girls.

As usual, people ran with a story with little or wrong information on what the program was about.

nanc said...

thankx shaw, but i'll still counsel my children in the fine art of abstinence and educate them with appropriate facts.

abstinence being one of the finer lost arts of our youth...

nanc said...

obob - the left is far too shortsighted to see the big picture, but as an educator yourself, i'm sure you can see the writing on the restroom wall...

Shaw said...

nanc,

The program is not in place for parents like you who take responsibility and counsel their children.

Again. This is for those unfortunate children whose parents have abdicated that responsibility, whose parents don't care, are absent, are druggies or alcoholic, in other words, not there for their kids.

Or should we just leave those kids o their own to deal with their own bad luck?

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

I did not get the story wrong and you can take your assertions about inaccuracy and stuff them in your condom.

The children have to have a parental permission to be treated. There is no parental notification about issuing birth control. If you care to actually stick to the topic, you will see that it was about the distribution of birth control without parental notification or consent. That has not changed with the "emergence" of new facts.

My children's school has a school nurse and I sign permission forms at the beginning of the year to allow treatment when necessary.

Abstinence results in a 0% teen birth rate and a 0% abortion rate and a 0% STD transmission rate. There has never been a documented case of abstinence that prevented a teen from entering college.

Social security was meant to be a supplement to individual retirements, too.

nanc said...

shaw - then since those particular children will probably not amount to much in the eyes of the state - i say mandatory sterilization is in order - it's permanent and we no longer have to worry about it - 'kay?

after all, they'll probably just grow up and have more just like them and so on and so forth. sounds like an even better plan.

Shaw said...

"Just say NO" actually works. It prevents drug use, AIDS, teen pregnancy, alcohol related deaths, most lung cancer, boating accidents, stubbed toes, and anything to which you care to apply it.--Robert

Yes, it works. But it may be working in conjunction with birth control information:

Contraception v Abstinence Education
Rebecca Goldin Ph.D, December 12, 2006
If you look at the statistics, perhaps the twain should meet.
A new study has shown that contraception, not abstinence, is behind declines in teen pregnancy. Researchers from Columbia University and the Guttmacher Institute took a nation-wide look at why it is that teen pregnancy rates are down.

http://www.stats.org/stories/contrac_v_abst_dec12_06.htm

All it would take is a little common sense and the eradication of socially irresponsible liberalism.--Robert

This is nonsense since abortion rates in some conservative states (look at Kansas and Nevada) are as high as or even higher than in the traditionally liberal northeast and northwest. (PS. Also, the “socially irresponsible liberal” state of Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the country.)

Is it the role of government to provide birth control? Do we really want people who can't teach our children geometry or even what decade World War II was fought to determine the best method to prevent my 12-14 year old from getting pregnant? Holy cow, the word GOD isn't allowed in school, but the words sex, and orgasm, and everything else that involves pregnancy is fair game?--Robert

The words “sex” and “orgasm” are perfectly good words. Orgasm is a perfectly natural bodily function that almost every human being (and apparently some primates) experience. There is nothing wrong with that word. Unless you’ve been raised to feel “dirty” about it. That sentence says a lot about how you guys feel about human sexuality. Ashamed and uncomfortable.

God is allowed in school. Every child in this country is allowed to pray to his/her god anytime, anywhere he/she wants to him or herself. IF I remember correctly, school children say “under God” in the pledge each time they say it in public schools. What you guys don’t like is that public schools can’t promote Christian prayers to be said out loud in public school. Why do you guys have the burning need to pray and be heard by people who do not share your religion?

Math teachers and history teachers are not the counselors who would be giving out health information at the school’s health clinic. I understand your using rhetoric to get your point across, but it serves only to keep people ignorant and fearful.


But this isn't about saying no to sex or drugs. It isn't about whether to have sex ed. It is about a moral and medical decision that should be left to a child and her parents being appropriated by a government school district who thinks they are smarter than parents.--Robert

You’re assuming all children have smart, responsible parents. What do you do with the teens whose parents are NOT responsible, who are not involved in their lives? That’s who this program is for.

Shaw said...

nanc said...
shaw - then since those particular children will probably not amount to much in the eyes of the state - i say mandatory sterilization is in order - it's permanent and we no longer have to worry about it - 'kay?

after all, they'll probably just grow up and have more just like them and so on and so forth. sounds like an even better plan.


nanc,

Glad that you're in the conservative camp.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Shaw, you should really leave statistics to the profesionals. Mass. may have the lowest divorce rates, but how about rates of people that are married? Alernative lifestyles and shacking up does not lead to divorce.

Wake up man! No one said contraception was ineffective or wrong! It is wrong to provide it without parental notification/approval to middle school children! Please stop being dense.

nanc said...

shaw - i wouldn't be anywhere else!

Shaw said...

Shaw, you should really leave statistics to the profesionals. Mass. may have the lowest divorce rates, but how about rates of people that are married?
Alernative lifestyles and shacking up does not lead to divorce.




Walking the walk on family values
By William V. D'Antonio | October 31, 2004

PRESIDENT Bush and Vice President Cheney make reference to "Massachusetts liberals" as if they were referring to people with some kind of disease. I decided it was time to do some research on these people, and here is what I found.

The state with the lowest divorce rate in the nation is Massachusetts. At latest count it had a divorce rate of 2.4 per 1,000 population, while the rate for Texas was 4.1.

But don't take the US government's word for it. Take a look at the findings from the George Barna Research Group. George Barna, a born-again Christian whose company is in Ventura, Calif., found that Massachusetts does indeed have the lowest divorce rate among all 50 states. More disturbing was the finding that born-again Christians have among the highest divorce rates.

The Associated Press, using data supplied by the US Census Bureau, found that the highest divorce rates are to be found in the Bible Belt.
The AP report stated that "the divorce rates in these conservative states are roughly 50 percent above the national average of 4.2 per thousand people." The 10 Southern states with some of the highest divorce rates were Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. By comparison nine states in the Northeast were among those with the lowest divorce rates: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

How to explain these differences? The following factors provide a partial answer:

More couples in the South enter their first marriage at a younger age.

Average household incomes are lower in the South.

Southern states have a lower percentage of Roman Catholics, "a denomination that does not recognize divorce." Barna's study showed that 21 percent of Catholics had been divorced, compared with 29 percent of Baptists.

Education. Massachusetts has about the highest rate of education in the country, with 85 percent completing high school. For Texas the rate is 76 percent. One third of Massachusetts residents have completed college, compared with 23 percent of Texans, and the other Northeast states are right behind Massachusetts.

The liberals from Massachusetts have long prided themselves on their emphasis on education, and it has paid off: People who stay in school longer get married at a later age, when they are more mature, are more likely to secure a better job, and job income increases with each level of formal education. As a result, Massachusetts also leads in per capita and family income while births by teenagers, as a percent of total births, was 7.4 for Massachusetts and 16.1 for Texas.

The Northeast corridor, with Massachusetts as the hub, does have one of the highest levels of Catholics per state total. And it is also the case that these are among the states most strongly supportive of the Catholic Church's teaching on social justice issues such as minimum and living wages and universal healthcare.

For all the Bible Belt talk about family values, it is the people from Kerry's home state, along with their neighbors in the Northeast corridor, who live these values. Indeed, it is the "blue" states, led led by Massachusetts and Connecticut, that have been willing to invest more money over time to foster the reality of what it means to leave no children behind. And they have been among the nation's leaders in promoting a living wage as their goal in public employment. The money they have invested in their future is known more popularly as taxes; these so-called liberal people see that money is their investment to help insure a compassionate, humane society. Family values are much more likely to be found in the states mistakenly called out-of-the-mainstream liberal. By their behavior you can know them as the true conservatives. They are showing how to conserve family life through the way they live their family values. William V. D'Antonio is professor emeritus at University of Connecticut and a visiting research professor at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

Shaw said...

nanc said...
shaw - i wouldn't be anywhere else!


And I wouldn't want you to ever even think of changing your "compassionate conservative" values.

nanc said...
shaw - then since those particular children will probably not amount to much in the eyes of the state - i say mandatory sterilization is in order - it's permanent and we no longer have to worry about it - 'kay?

after all, they'll probably just grow up and have more just like them and so on and so forth. sounds like an even better plan.

Obob said...

the stigma a sexually active female is more negative than a sexually active male. And that's for adults. When it comes to children, they are shell shocked and it has lasting consequences as they age. It affects their marriage, if they do.
To promote any sexual activity in high school is setting these kids up to fail. Middle School is barabaric. I do walk the halls with these kids everyday. I see the children who will use sex to get to get accepted. I shudder.
Ask your child what movies they like. Better yet, their friends whose parents are lazy on monitoring the viewing habits of their children. That'll keep you up at night.
If I cannot condone my child or any of my students to do it, I cannot another child.
Think about it. Don't react, think.

Dora said...

Abstinence results in a 0% teen birth rate and a 0% abortion rate and a 0% STD transmission rate. There has never been a documented case of abstinence that prevented a teen from entering college.

Well, you know, staying in your house and never being near a car or road, never getting into a car, etc. -- results in a 0% car accident rate, 0% airbag injury rate, and 0% car fatality rate, and 0% drunk driving death rate.

Like I said before, for some reason, the anti-sex league, excuse me, the religious right, seems to believe that if you tell people enough times how about the possible bad consequences of sex, people will stop having sex.

That's about as likely as people stopping driving. We don't tell people not to drive just because there is a risk of injury or death. We instruct them on how to do this relatively dangerous activity safely, we have seat belts and airbags and antilock breaks.

Dora said...

the stigma a sexually active female is more negative than a sexually active male. And that's for adults. When it comes to children, they are shell shocked and it has lasting consequences as they age. It affects their marriage, if they do.
To promote any sexual activity in high school is setting these kids up to fail.


Kids in high school end up having sex without anyone promoting it. Furthermore, the average age of loss of virginity in this country is 17, yet most kids don't "fail." Most end up okay. How is this possible?

Dora said...

The words “sex” and “orgasm” are perfectly good words. Orgasm is a perfectly natural bodily function that almost every human being (and apparently some primates) experience. There is nothing wrong with that word. Unless you’ve been raised to feel “dirty” about it. That sentence says a lot about how you guys feel about human sexuality. Ashamed and uncomfortable.

They are certainly better words than the words the kids would hear from their peers on the same topics, and all the misinformation that goes with that.

Dora said...

I think we should ask Nanc and FJ (and anyone else here who fits the bill) why they weren't abstinent in their youth and had premarital sex.

Dora said...

Also, I was wondering if someone could explain to me why Massachusetts is 49th in teen births.

In case you were wondering, abstinence-only Texas is #1.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

This is why Ann Coulter is so hated. She calls out the left for being exactly what they are.

No one said that we could stop pre-marital sex. No one said that sex in and of itself was evil.

Dora, you are exactly right. However, as usual, you are making absurd points. Equating sex with me driving to work? Be serious.

Are you saying that the schools should teach our kids to drive at in middle school without their parents knowing about it?

Dora said...

No one said that we could stop pre-marital sex. No one said that sex in and of itself was evil.


Well, i dunno, you seem to be promoting how well abstinence works. To me, that is endorsing the "no premarital sex" party line. To me, also, that is about as likely to happen as "no driving."

I think the analogy to driving is a particularly good one. Driving is dangerous, even being near cars as a pedestrian is dangerous. How many car-related deaths do we have in this country every year, like 45,000 That's a lot, and that doesn't even count the injuries. Plus, that's more than the HIV, AIDS and syphilis deaths combined.

However, we don't tell our children "no driving." Most people can't wait to get their kids their learner's permits so they don't have to chauffer them anymore. We teach our children how to drive safely, how to buckle up, drive defensively, etc.

To me, unprotected sex is like drunk driving. But the existence of drunk driving and the possibility of it hardly dissuades anyone from driving completely.

Are you saying that the schools should teach our kids to drive at in middle school without their parents knowing about it?

Well, since the birth control is available to 14 and 15 year olds, let's consider comparable situations. I wouldn't mind teachers telling children to buckle up and be safe when driving, no drunk driving, or giving them booklets about how to drive safely. (No one is teaching children how to have sex at schools, btw -- they're teaching them how to protect themselves). There is no real analogy to handing out birth control with driving.

In Texas, for example, you can get a learner's permit when you turn 15, and at 15 and a half, you can drive by yourself.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Yes we do. We tell them no driving in middle school. We tell them they can only drive with parental permission in high school.

Why don't we teach them to drink, do drugs, break into houses and rob convenience stores.

Hell, why don't we tell them that since we can't stop them from doing anything, we just give up and tell them to wear body aror if they engage in felonies to make sure they don't die from a police shooting.

Pure, plain idiocy. Not to mention it shows the complete lack of responsibility and desire to act so ont he lart of liberals.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

I won't be back tonight. My blood pressure will be high enough fromt he Auburn game.

Dora said...

Actually, I don't think you need parents' consent to get a learner's permit, at least not in Texas. See the link above to the Texas DMV.

And if you're in middle school and 15 and 1/2 years old, you can drive. The school might not have parking for you, but you are legally entitled to drive elsewhere.

Hmmm.

Why don't we teach them to drink, do drugs, break into houses and rob convenience stores.

Hell, why don't we tell them that since we can't stop them from doing anything, we just give up and tell them to wear body aror if they engage in felonies to make sure they don't die from a police shooting.


Well, drinking is a special matter, but for the most part, I don't think that it's an innate part of human nature to do drugs and break into people's houses. All of those activities are illegal, and perpetrated by a small minority of the population. Unlike driving and sex and drinking, they are not activities that are perfectly legal and acceptable once you reach a certain age.

Sex. Is. Not. Bad.

It's not like snorting coke or breaking into houses. It's not a bad thing, not analogous to crime. It's perfectly natural, and universal, and at 15, 16, 17 it's perfectly natural for teens to be overflowing with horny hormones.

Were you abstinent when you were a teen? Did you ever have premarital sex?

nanc said...

could you be any more stupid, dora - equating a driver's license with birth control for children. everything is relative to you!

how much is hitlery paying you to harass conservatives?

Shaw said...

nanc,

Can you come up with something a bit more intelligent than calling people stupid when you disagree with what they say.

Try.

I know you can do it.

Oh, and IX-nay of the sterilization of chilren suggestions.

They're sooooooooo Josef Mengele.

nanc said...

well, shaw - apparently you do not know the history that dora has built upon calling me names...

as for my comment, i was being multi-faceted.

you kiss dora's hiney your way, and i'll spank her in mine.

so butt out!

rockync said...

Robert, I believe there are several trolls plaguing this thread. Move on to new topics and they will eventually get bored and leave. This stuff is no longer debate, it is argumentive tomfoolery.(do you like that old fashioned word? Somehow, it just seems to fit.)

nanc said...

two trolls to be exact. but, changing the subject won't make a difference to them.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

I actually abstained until I was 18. I chose to use my brain instead of my hormones. You seem to think that people can't do that.

I knew that I wanted a life that didn't involve having a child while I was still a child.

It was a conscious choice, not one made from lack of opportunity.

Dora said...

Oh nanc, so you're into spanking?

Tell us, nanc, why did you have teen sex?

Also, I love how everyone managed to ignore what I said about dirving safely vs. having sex safely.

Any thoughts on that? Robert, you had premarital sex? why?

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Dora, don't act stupid. No one here has begun an assault on sex.
I have ignored the analogy because it is potentially the dumbest one I have ever heard.

Dora said...

I actually abstained until I was 18. I chose to use my brain instead of my hormones.

So you had sex when you were 18. Well, I guess you were technically no longer a child, but I really don't see much difference between 17 and 18.

As for the driving analogy, I think you're ignoring it because it's pretty damn good. You're allowed to drive in some parts of the country as young as 15 1/2. That means you are old enough to operate a huge machine that can kill someone. But you think that these same children should not be allowed to get birth control?

Sound strange to me.

Dora said...

I did a bit more research on the driver's license ages, and this helpful chart shows the minimum age in each state for a learner's permit and a full license.

http://golocalnet.com/drivingage/

You will note that the overwhelming majority of states allow a full driver's license by the age of 16. South Dakota allows it at 14!

You will also note that a majority of states allow learner's permits at 15. A bunch of states, including Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas. North Dakota and South Dakota allow permits at 14!

So these 14-year-olds are responsible enough to drive wherever they please, possibly carrying passangers, etc., but not responsible enough to have sex?

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Are you being intentionally dense, or do you really not understand?

It doesn't have anything to do with sex, or the age at which you can drive (which is 16 in Alabama, but only with parental permission and prove of school enrollment. At 15, you can get a learners permit but are ONLY allowed to drive with a parent).

I could care less about having birth control. I care about being given BC without my knowledge.

heidianne jackson said...

dora, actually you can't get a regulary license in texas until you are 16. you can get your learner's permit at 15 and you must have it for at least 6 months before you can get your license, but you can't get your license earlier than 16.

unless you get a "hardship license" which several states have. not sure how it works elsewhere, but in texas (i am speaking from experience here) it's essentially an addendum to your learner's permit. the license can be used for certain things at certain times, but not to transport passengers unless accompanied by someone who is a licensed driver and who is over the age of 21.

addiitionally, at least in texas and missouri, you cannot drive without parental permission until you are 18 years old. in fact, in missouri, my son had to sign something acknowledging that even though the state was issuing a license, he enjoyed his continued privilege at his parents' pleasure. in other words he can only drive if we tell him he can drive.

you are the one who started the whole anaolgy with driving, dora, not robert.

Dora said...

I could care less about having birth control.

It's "couldn't care less."

I care about being given BC without my knowledge.

Ok. Why?

Dora said...

I dunno, Heidianne, what you're saying is not what the Missouri DMV says. A qualified driving instructor can fill in everywhere a parent can. No explicit parental consent is required.

http://dor.mo.gov/mvdl/drivers/gradlaw.htm

It all cases, however, it turns out that by age 16, in Texas, Missouri and Alabama, kids are allowed to drive alone to a destination of their choice. They are considered responsible enough for this by you and the state.

But at the same time, they are not considered responsible enough to have sex. Sex can give you STDs and babies, and driving can give you injury death of yourself or others.

Think about it.

heidianne jackson said...

from this link:

http://dor.mo.gov/mvdl/drivers/gradlaw.htm

"A qualified person must accompany you to the contract office to sign a permission statement."

i know from doing this with my son, the term "qualified person" means parent or guardian.

it doesn't say anything about the fact that a parent can revoke the child's right to drive, but talk to some others here in mo and they'll back what i'm saying.

regardless, the child, under 18, cannot get a license or a permit without permission granted by a parent. and as the child will be on my insurance, i can take away the keys and his license and not allow him to drive if i see fit.

doesn't mean he won't still drive someone else's car. doesn't mean he will. it does mean that i get to make the decision about allowing him to get a license as he is a minor and i'm responsible for him.

this is no different from what people are saying here about the birth control thingy - i as the parent get to decide if my child is ready to drive and/or have birth control.

and by the way, all of the things you said about driving can also be said about sex.

nanc said...

yeah, mixing civil liberties with the immoral is what we must all do.

boxing's legal, so why shouldn't men beat the shiite out of their wives...

dora the idiot.

Dora said...

Nanc, go bake a cake or something. The adults are talking.

Dora said...

Heidi, I don't know what to tell you. At the bottom of

http://dor.mo.gov/mvdl/drivers/gradlaw.htm

it says:

"Qualified person is a parent, legal guardian or certified trainer with a federal residential job training program."

So, a parent's permission isn't necessary.

And neither is it in the Texas program.

and by the way, all of the things you said about driving can also be said about sex.

That's exactly my point. Yet with the greater injury and death rate from driving, and its inherent dangerousness, people think it's okay for kids to start driving at 14, 15, 16. But with sex? It's "abstinence-only" education, decrying teen sex, and premarital sex.

nanc said...

baked one yesterday!

now, back to your streetcorner.

heidianne jackson said...

ok, just spoke to the modmv's office in jeff city. it seems that they will take a driving instructor for getting the permit, but not the license, because the instructor will present proof that the parent has authorized the instruction.

and from this site: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/faq/answers_dl_id.htm#q21

i give you: Obtain parental authorization signature. 37 Texas Administrative Code 15.27

parental permission is the key. if my child is doing something that is potentially dangerous, i want to know about it and be able to inform him or her in the manner i deem best. it is NOT the government's job to raise our children.

heidianne jackson said...

btw, nanc, i baked a cake yesterday too!!! :)

Dora said...

Fair enough, Heidianne. But once you give them permission, just as you would give your child permission to go to the school health clinic, you can't really control where they go, etc. If you don't give permission for the health center, your kid won't be getting birth control from the school.

it is NOT the government's job to raise our children.

Well, i guess it depends on what you mean by "raise." why do you send your kids to school?

Dora said...

In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court held, in Carey v. Population Services International, that a New York law banning advertising or display of contraceptives, or distribution of contraceptives to minors under sixteen, was unconstitutional because it violated the right to privacy of adults and minors. The decision led to a backlash among religious and social conservatives, especially in regard to the ruling on minors.

The constitutional right to privacy, however, continues to guarantee a minor's right to access contraceptives. Additional protection is afforded by the 21 states and the District of Columbia, which explicitly give minors a right to access contraceptives without significant limitations. Moreover, federal family planning programs funded by Title X and Medicaid require that minors receive confidential contraceptive services without requiring parental consent.

In general, physicians and social service agencies tend to support minors' unrestricted access to birth control. Many leading medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Society for Adolescent Medicine, have issued statements supporting minors' confidential access to reproductive health services.


[Source]

nanc said...

what kind of cake did you bake, heidianne?

we did a chocolate fudge, smore cake!

quite a hit.

swampcracker said...

Robert, I thought you might find the following quote to be an interesting wrinkle in this discussion. I come from one of my "liberal" friends who is steadfastly for condoms but against birth control pills:

Birth control pills are great for many women but I would strongly discourage a teenager from going on the pill or another type of hormonal birth control because she doesn't know her body well enough. I think that before you take any medicine that screws with your body chemistry like that, you need to have a firm understanding of where your "baseline" is so you can evaluate the side effects.

Sourse: Becks at unfogged.com

Anonymous said...

I find that the idea of birth control to young girls is an indication that we are not getting across good information about sex and the result of such action at a young age. Bring back sex ed in addition to available birth control?
By the way, I read an article about a new book entitled, Knock Yourself Up, No Man No Problem, A Single Girls Guide to Motherhood. It came out last week. It talks about the deliberate choice to become a single mother. I am interested to hear comments, given the subject of birth control and role models. I recommend that you go to Salon to read the article first before you post.

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