In response to the political discussion around abortion lately, I felt compelled to write how absolutely vital I believe sex education to be. Whether you are of the liberal camp advocating abortion as a woman's right, or of the conservative camp advocating for the rights of the unborn fetus: there is one thing sure to appease all: preventing unwanted pregnancies in the first place.
Because of religious beliefs held by some parents, many times schools find themselves teaching an abstinence-only curriculum rather than a comprehensive sex education.
This method stresses that young, hormonal teenagers suppress their sexual urges and that abstinence is the only way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.
When looking at the United States' teen pregnancy rates, abortion rates, and STD rates, it is clear that abstinence-only sex education simply isn't enough; the United States has the highest rate compared to other industrialized countries in each category!
Researchers have found that countries such as the Netherlands have experienced a lower rate of teen pregnancy, STD rates, and abortion rates, since implementing comprehensive sex education programs in their public schools.
It would be remiss to think that banning abortion would stop abortion altogether. The pro-life camp calls itself pro-life- shouldn't that include the mother? Banning abortion means almost certain death to women.
According to the National Institutes of Health, roughly 20 million women worldwide choose to end unwanted pregnancies using unsafe procedures, as 97% of these women reside in countries in which abortion is illegal.
Of those 20 million women, about 68,000 of them will die during or because of unsafe abortion procedures, and of the survivors, 5 million of them will experience chronic health complications.
Banning abortion is not the answer. Prevention is. Advocating for women's health is. If schools in the United States were to implement a comprehensive sex education, society as a whole would benefit from lower pregnancy rates, STD rates, and abortion rates.
The intent of schooling is to provide students with an education. Not teaching students about their own bodies and how to avoid putting themselves at risk with unprotected sex is a detriment to our society, and frankly, it is neglecting the only intent of school in the first place.