Too true, dear reader, too true. And that’s an important distinction for us pro-lifers to make. Why? Because the birth rate can drop even if the pregnancy rate stays the same if women are getting more abortions. A decreasing birth rate doesn’t necessarily mean a decreasing pregnancy rate.
But is the birth rate declining because fewer teens are getting pregnant, or because more teens are getting abortions? Is comprehensive sex education actually lowering the pregnancy rate, or is it leading to more pregnancies and more abortions?
But, wait! You think. Maybe the teen abortion rate skyrocketed even though the overall abortion rate decreased. A reasonable consideration, but you’d be mistaken. If we insert the trend for California’s teen abortion rate, we see an even stronger decrease:
So although Huffington Post didn’t bother looking at the (crucial) abortion rate, they happen to be correct that not just the birth rate is declining, but the pregnancy rate is declining as well. There are fewer teen births *and* fewer teen abortions in California since comprehensive, medically accurate sex education has been implemented.
But wait!! You say. Correlation isn’t causation! And you are so right! I’m glad you remembered, because people forget that all the time. So: is the declining teen pregnancy rate because of comprehensive sex education?
In 2005, level 0 states had an average (± standard error) teen pregnancy rate of 58.78 (±4.96), level 1 states averaged 56.36 (±3.94), level 2 states averaged 61.86 (±3.93), and level 3 states averaged 73.24 (±2.58) teen pregnancies per 1000 girls aged 14–19 (Table 3)
The level of abstinence education (no provision, covered, promoted, stressed) was positively correlated with both teen pregnancy and teen birth rates, indicating that abstinence education in the U.S. does not cause abstinence behavior. To the contrary, teens in states that prescribe more abstinence education are actually more likely to become pregnant.
So it looks like HuffPo is right, and comprehensive sex ed has been helping California reduce teen pregnancy. And I know at this point you’re all thinking something along the lines of Woohoo! Me too, dear reader. Me too. 🙂