Abstinence works, not mixed messages

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2006

In her March 5 letter, Dee Longenbaugh says that abstinence doesn't work. Abstinence is the only approach to sexual activity that works flawlessly every time it is tried - no pregnancy, no sexually transmitted disease or any of the other problems associated with promiscuous sex. What doesn't work is mixing abstinence and contraceptive programs together. The mixed message that results undermines the abstinence message. Imagine a drug prevention program that tells kids to say "no" to drugs and then offers them drugs.

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No doubt there are those who think abstinence isn't even possible. This is sad testimony about where we are in our culture today. We are not just animals. We have an intellect and free will and should act like it. Instead of throwing up our hands in defeat and throwing condoms at our teenagers, as is the practice of Planned Parenthood, we need to set high standards of behavior not the lowest common denominator of sexual behavior, which seems to be the case. We need to let them know we expect them to act responsibly - no sex before marriage.

Making contraceptives available encourages sexual activity. No one can deny that the increased availability of contraceptives in the 1960s was accompanied by a dramatic increase in pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. It is shameful that we can teach our kids to say "no" to drugs and to smoking but there is opposition to teaching them to say "no" to premarital sex.

Longenbaugh repeats the old argument that outlawing abortions does not mean they will stop. Are our laws against assault and theft useless? These crimes are still being committed. The law is a teacher and it sets standards of behavior. We can be assured that if abortion was illegal there would be far fewer than now.

She also asks if we want to return to abortions performed in dirty rooms in back alleys or self inflicted? No, I condemn such things. Abortion supporters are the ones who need to answer those questions and take responsibility for their actions.

In conclusion, I do agree with Longenbaugh that sex is a "totally natural procreative instinct in humans." Yes, but it is one we must control and not misuse. To the extent we fail to do so we reap the sexually related problems we see in our society today.

Sidney D. Heidersdorf

Juneau



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