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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Kiss the Babies

A column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch points out the difficulties created by teen pregnancy. Working in a school that's clientele has a tendency to find themselves in the family has given me ample opportunity to witness the effects it has on a students ability to be successful.

The fact that I have to fear losing my job if I mention the word condom, let alone make them available to students, is ridiculous. The scariest part is that St. Louis also leads the country in STDs. I am only guessing, but it seems as if infection is much easier to achieve than conception. This fact alone should move teen pregnancy out of the realm of family "choice." This is a public health issue.

But lets ignore gonorrhea for a minute, just like Republicans do, and focus on the amount of resources that should be used to support the child of a teen. First of all we need to insure proper pre-natal care which includes nutrition, regular doctor visits, and parenting education. Once the child is born they should be considered a protected class of citizen. Most of these infants are starting off with a disadvantage. Society is responsible for making sure these children are given opportunities to succeed. If we don't, then it is not unlikely that we will end up with grandparents in their mid-twenties. Take this to its illogical conclusion and the novelty of multi-generational photographs will wear off and The Picture People will have to expand its studios to accommodate eight generations.

Teach abstinence as the best choice, but please don't let it be the only one.

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