Planned Parenthood Misrepresents CDC Report on Teen Births, Abstinence

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 28, 2010   |   11:53AM   |   Washington, DC

A pro-life group is accusing the national Planned Parenthood abortion business of misrepresenting a recent Centers for Disease Control report on teen birth rates.
The new CDC report provides more evidence that abstinence education decreases teen sexual activity and pregnancy, but Planned Parenthood  put its own spin on the numbers to promote its childhood sex education programs, says officials with American Life League.

“This is another illustration of how Planned Parenthood uses deception at every level to promote its deadly agenda,” said Rita Diller, national director of Stop Planned Parenthood International (STOPP), an ALL project.

The recently released CDC report entitled “State Disparities in Teenage Birth Rates in the United States” acknowledges that teenage birth rates have continued to decline since their peak in 1991. It then examines the ethnicity of teen mothers in 2007, and finds they are predominantly Hispanic and black in almost every state.

In response, Planned Parenthood issued what Diller says is a misleading press release that stated, “This new CDC report makes it crystal clear that the teen birthrate is lower in states that provide students with comprehensive, evidence-based sex education.”

Diller notes the CDC report makes no mention of what type of sex education (or abstinence message) is used in a given state or geographic area.

“Planned Parenthood conveniently ignores the fact that the decrease in teen sexual activity and teen pregnancy coincide with the availability and popularity of giving abstinence messages to kids across the U.S. in the 1990s and into the 2000s,” she said.

The report affirms that “[t]here has been a broad consensus on the goal of preventing teenage pregnancy, and a wide variety of public and private programs have been developed to meet this challenge.”

It attributes the variations in teenage birth rates states and ethnicities to “many factors, including differences in socioeconomic factors, such as education and income, risk behaviors such as sexual activity and contraceptive use, and attitudes among teenagers toward pregnancy and childbearing.”

But Planned Parenthood’s misleading release reveals its intent to “bombard minority teens with its salacious, perverted, immoral sex education by means of a huge amount of taxpayer funding from the Obama administration,” according to Diller.

That comment came in response to a Planned Parenthood statement saying, “[s]ex educators like Planned Parenthood are poised to make tremendous progress in reducing teen pregnancy, because for the first time in American history the federal government has ensured that federal funds will be used primarily by states and community organizations that provide evidence-based sex education to reduce teen pregnancy.”

The abortion business applauded “the Obama administration’s allocation of $155 million for evidence-based sex education” calling it a “true turning point in the history of sex education in the United States.”

“Planned Parenthood was behind the wheel of sex education in the United States during the years when teen sexual activity was increasing dramatically,” Diller pointed out.

“However, teen pregnancy and sexual activity rates began an almost two-decade decline with the availability and popularity of abstinence messages, bolstered by a small amount of public funding. So, it is truly terrifying to think that the new turning point of sex education is a 180-degree wrong turn – back into the clutches of Planned Parenthood,” she said.

The new report comes as the Obama administration was recently forced to reveal the results of a new study showing the effectiveness of abstinence education programs and the support parents have for them.
The study, The National Survey of Adolescents and Their Parents, was posted in August to the HHS website after significant grassroots pressure. It calls into question whether recent sex education policy decisions truly reflect cultural norms or clear evidence-based trends.
According to the findings, about 70% of parents agreed that it is “against [their] values for [their] adolescents to have sexual intercourse before marriage” and that “having sexual intercourse is something only married people should do.” Adolescents gave similar responses.
Looking further at the study, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), a division of HHS, funded a survey of 1,000 adolescents 12-18 years-old in order to measure parent-adolescent communication and adolescent attitudes toward sex and abstinence.
The study found parents strongly support the concept that sexual relations are best saved for a marital relationship and parents’ attitudes are more important in influencing adolescent views than the level of parent communication with their adolescent.
The American Public Health Association (APHA) highlighted the results on its web site: “Adjusting for all other factors in the model, parent and peer factors are more consistently associated with differences in adolescent attitudes about sex and abstinence than are measures of adolescent exposure to sex and abstinence topics in a class or program.” [related]
However, during an APHA conference, researcher Lisa Rue, Ph.D., who specializes in adolescent behavior, was intrigued by the study and requested the full report. She was denied access and the Obama administration denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for it.
The National Abstinence Education Association responded by encouraging interested persons to submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the public release of a study.
“Hundreds submitted the request for openness regarding the study. As a result, HHS posted the entire study report,” Huber of NAEA said.