The Real Story Behind the Massachusetts Pregnancy “Pact”

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As most people should know by now (and should have suspected originally), the story of the Massachusetts teen pregnancy “pact” was wrong. And, a follow-up story on Women’s eNews today has this paragraph, which really should be getting all the attention now:

What started as the national media’s breathless reporting about a teen pregnancy clique led to more sober pieces explaining that school funding cuts had eliminated Gloucester High’s sexuality education classes (RHRealityCheck.org); that the school forbids the distribution of condoms and other contraception without parental consent, a rule that prompted the school’s doctor and nurse to resign in protest in May (Reuters); and that the nearest clinic where teens can obtain birth control is 20 miles away (Poynter.org).

“Rumors aside, one thing that is true is that you don’t have to walk very far in Gloucester to find an unwed teenage mother,” ABC’s Anne-Marie Dorning reported. “Baby-faced teens pushing baby carriages seem to be everywhere.”

History and contemporary events always show the same thing.   Lack of access to reproductive health care and education leads to one of two things: more unwanted pregnancies or more unhealthy (or dead) women.

– David S. Cohen

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