Whatís Going On?:
the President Ignores Comprehensive Sex Ed
President Bush, in this yearís State of the Union
address, said he wants to spend $270 million on
abstinence-only programs. This would restrict the
amount of money available to support or expand
comprehensive sex-ed programs in our communities.
Weíve already seen local after-school programs
focusing on teen pregnancy prevention being threatened
because of lack of funds. Itís not about abstinence
not being important, itís about opening up our eyes
and looking beyond the BS the ďleadersĒ of America
(aka Bush) tell us.
Reality check! Teens are having sex whether you like
it or not. What we need to do is provide them the real
411, what we call comprehensive sex education, so they
can make healthy and responsible decisions about sex.
You think we, at our young age, donít know whatís
going on? The truth is, we probably know more than you
think. We know that itís tough to have babies and it
takes a lot of effort to raise them. We know whatís
going on: we have friends who are moms and dads at 14
or 15 years old. We see this reality in our daily
lives. We know that STDs and HIV/AIDS are real and
they are catching up to us before we know it.
As youth, we know that not all of us are getting the
information that we need, like knowing how to put on a
condom, or that we can prevent a pregnancy with the
morning-after pill. As youth, we also know this lack
of information often leads to bad decisions and
possible regrets. If our parents and ďleadersĒ
accepted this too, more would support preparing teens
to make good choices that could probably save their
I live in the real world. Iím not a statistic, but Iím
not Ms. Perfect either. Iím a young girl trying to
succeed and I can honestly say that I know Iím ahead
of the game. Iím a Mexican-American girl, Iím not
pregnant, and I have learned how to make responsible
decisions. I learned the facts thanks to the
comprehensive sex-ed Iíve received in my teen years.
When it comes down to it, itís our choice weather we
have sex or not and what works is getting the straight
facts. I end up making the moral judgment anyway. Itís
important to have these programs because if teens
arenít getting their info from home or school, they
need to get it somewhere! Better that they know the
right and accurate information from professionals than
from the streets.
We need to fight for our rights. According to a column
by James Wagoner, in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer,
70% of teens have had sex by the age of 18, and about
10,000 teens are infected every day with an STD.
Latinos and African-Americans across the US run the
highest risk of contracting HIV and AIDS. Todayís
youth are at risks and as Americaís future, we should
be entitled to a free and healthy life.
Whether we choose to have sex or not, we need to look
out for each other, because our ďleadersĒ arenít doing
so. Cutting comprehensive sex-ed programs will lead to
ignorance and must be stopped. Policy makers are
making careless decisions that will deprive us of
information essential for our growth and development.
How else are we going to build up our self-esteem and
our responsible decision making if we donít know
whatís going on in the real world?
In the end, our choices now will affect the rest of
our lives. Hopefully every teen in America will be
provided with enough information to make the best
decisions regarding sexuality. Knowledge is power, and
if they take away the knowledge provided from
comprehensive sex education, they take away our power.