Young people deserve mandated comprehensive & medically accurate reproductive education

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America has the highest amount of teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted disease and infections in comparison to other developed nations. According to Guttmacher Center for Population Research Innovation and Dissemination, the United States lags behind many other developed nations because our country ranks the highest (57 per 1,000 15-19-year-olds) in teen pregnancy whereas countries like Switzerland with only 8 per 1,000 and the Netherlands, Slovenia, and Singapore at only 14 (Sedgh, 2015). The problem is many states don’t require students to be educated in such a life-altering issue, posing detrimental health risks such as unintended pregnancies, STDs, sexual harassment, and physical and mental abuse. But the lack of education isn’t the only problem, many states solely rely on an abstinence-only curriculum, which prevents students from learning about contraception and sexually transmitted infections. To lessen these health risks, it’s essential to provide and mandate comprehensive reproductive education for all states because it gives better access to family planning services and offers more affordable contraception this helps ease tension teens feel when confronting these issues while also lessening the amount of teenage pregnancy saving our country millions of dollars.

As a teenager in the U.S., I've seen my friends go through traumatic situations that could have been easily prevented if they were more knowledgeable about contraception or had the proper resources and support in their communities and I know I'm just one out of many that have either been through or seen the alarming consequences of not being well educated on sexual health. We already have programs that help solve this problem, but these programs aren’t supported. President Trump has not been friendly to such programs, declaring Valerie Huber, an advocate for abstinence-only education, to a post at the Department of Health and Human Services. The agency recently cut more than $200 million in federal funds for teen pregnancy prevention programs. Meanwhile, the administration's budget proposal includes millions of dollars to extend the "Abstinence Education and Personal Responsibility Education Program." (National Public Radio, 2017). Therefore, it’s beneficial to America’s future that our students receive the best type of education and have access to resources that can help them confront these issues rather than hide from them. That’s part of why making all states have medically accurate information on sex are so important because right now many students are being robbed of that right. There are already so many misunderstandings about sex because young people either have nobody to turn to or they receive information from those who find it taboo or are misinformed themselves. Reproductive health is so important to the mental, physical, and economic well being of our country being sexually literate helps create positive attitudes and beliefs about sex, making the future of America less vulnerable and safer.

 



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