Charles M. Blow in the New York Times:
Sarah Palin has a pregnant teenager. And, she’s not alone. According to a report published in 2007, there are more than 400,000 other American girls in the same predicament.
In fact, a 2001 Unicef report said that the United States teenage birthrate was higher than any other member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The U.S. tied Hungary for the most abortions. This was in spite of the fact that girls in the U.S. were not the most sexually active. Denmark held that title. But, its teenage birthrate was one-sixth of ours, and its teenage abortion rate was half of ours.
If there is a shame here, it’s a national shame — a failure of our puritanical society to accept and deal with the facts. Teenagers have sex. How often and how safely depends on how much knowledge and support they have. Crossing our fingers that they won’t cross the line is not an intelligent strategy.
To wit, our ridiculous experiment in abstinence-only education seems to be winding down with a study finding that it didn’t work. States are opting out of it.