Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Government-run health care: NHS handing out morning-after pill to 13-year-olds

Dina sent me this article from the Scottish Sun.

Excerpt:

Nurses dish out emergency contraception to teens at lunchtime ‘drop-in’ clinics.

And it has emerged the meds are being prescribed to young girls WITHOUT their parents’ knowledge at seven high schools across Dumfries and Galloway.

The controversial move was last night blasted by religious and political leaders who say it promotes underage sex.

Scottish Tory health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said: “There is a real danger this will breed complacency about safe sex.

“Making the morning-after pill available in this way sends out the message that there is nothing wrong with sex at any age.”

And a Catholic Church spokesman added: “It is utterly immoral and like throwing petrol on a fire.

“It gives the green light to promiscuity.”

[...]Scotland has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in Europe.

Does handing out contraception normalize premarital sex, resulting in higher rates of abortion and teenage pregnancy?

Let’s see.

This article from the liberal New York Times answers that part of that question. (H/T Mary)

Excerpt: (links removed)

To begin with, a lack of contraceptive access simply doesn’t seem to be a significant factor in unplanned pregnancy in the United States. When the Alan Guttmacher Institute surveyed more than 10,000 women who had procured abortions in 2000 and 2001, it found that only 12 percent cited problems obtaining birth control as a reason for their pregnancies. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of teenage mothers found similar results: Only 13 percent of the teens reported having had trouble getting contraception.

At the same time, if liberal social policies really led inexorably to fewer unplanned pregnancies and thus fewer abortions, you would expect “blue” regions of the country to have lower teen pregnancy rates and fewer abortions per capita than demographically similar “red” regions.

But that isn’t what the data show. Instead, abortion rates are frequently higher in more liberal states, where access is often largely unrestricted, than in more conservative states, which are more likely to have parental consent laws, waiting periods, and so on. “Safe, legal and rare” is a nice slogan, but liberal policies don’t always seem to deliver the “rare” part.

What’s more, another Guttmacher Institute study suggests that liberal states don’t necessarily do better than conservative ones at preventing teenagers from getting pregnant in the first place. Instead, the lower teenage birth rates in many blue states are mostly just a consequence of (again) their higher abortion rates. Liberal California, for instance, has a higher teen pregnancy rate than socially conservative Alabama; the Californian teenage birth rate is only lower because the Californian abortion rate is more than twice as high.

This is similar to what we know from other countries like Spain, where promoting contraception actually led to higher rates of abortion.

Here’s the article from Life Site News.

Excerpt:

Abortion advocates often promote contraception by claiming that as contraception use increases, the number of “unwanted” pregnancies and therefore abortions will decrease. But a new study out of Spain has found the exact opposite, suggesting that contraception actually increases abortion rates.

The authors, who published their findings in the January 2011 issue of the journal Contraception, conducted surveys of about 2,000 Spanish women aged 15 to 49 every two years from 1997 to 2007.  They found that over this period the number of women using contraceptives increased from 49.1% to 79.9%.

Yet they noted that in the same time frame the country’s abortion rate more than doubled from 5.52 per 1,000 women to 11.49.

This UK Daily Mail story explains how more contraception means more abortion and more teen pregnancy in the UK.

Excerpt:

Most pregnancies among girls under 18 ended in abortion last year.

Out of around 40,000 pregnancies more than 20,000 were terminated – the first time more had chosen this option than become mothers.

The figure is higher than 2007, when it just hit 50 per cent, and consistent with a steady upwards trend since the Government started its controversial Teenage Pregnancy Strategy in 1999.

Figures out on May 21 will also show that for the first time the number of abortions performed on women living in England and Wales topped 200,000.

The teenage pregnancy strategy, which has cost taxpayers more than £300million, was meant to halve the number of conceptions among girls under 18 in England between 1998 and 2010.

Ministers have tried to slash teenage pregnancies by freely handing out contraceptives and expanding sex education.

But the fall in pregnancy rates has not met Government targets, and in 2007 the rate actually rose.

Teenage pregnancy rates are now higher than they were in 1995. Pregnancies among girls under 16 – below the age of consent – are also at the highest level since 1998.

It is like throwing petrol / gasoline on a fire. The more sex you have, the more abortions and/or teen pregnancy you get.

Should Christians support single-payer health care systems run by a secular leftist government? Of course not. What government-run health care means, in practice, is that businesses and workers will be subsidizing things like abortion, teen pregnancy, sex changes, IVF, single motherhood by choice, no-fault divorce, and other irresponsible choices. Whatever you subsidize, you get more of. Whatever you tax, you get less of. Should we be wanting more abortion and teen pregnancy?

My Dad and I were discussing this article last night and we were thinking about whether sexual activity at age 13 really prepares a woman for life-long married love. This blog has highlighted studies showing that marital stability is increased by pre-marital chastity, and other studies showing that an increased number of premarital sex partners increases the odds of divorce and most recently about how delaying sexual activity in a relationship increases relationship quality. Marital instability is especially bad for children who will grow up fatherless. Children who grow in non-married homes are far more likely to be poor, for example, but also more likely to be exposed to violence. Should we be promoting and subsidizing behaviors that cause these problems? Permitting the behaviors is one thing, but subsidizing them is something else entirely.

This is an issue that libertarians and fiscal conservatives should also care about. Family breakdown will only result in an increase in the size of government to deal with the messes. Not just more police, but more divorce courts, more child protection, more welfare, and so on.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How important are biological fathers for healthy child development?

Some statistics on the importance of biological fathers from Fathers.com.

Excerpt:

Some fathering advocates would say that almost every social ill faced by America’s children is related to fatherlessness. Six are noted here. As supported by the data below, children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems. Boys are more likely to become involved in crime, and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens.

For a summary, I’ll just list one fact from each of the six categories they listed.

1. Poverty

Fact:

- Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor. In 2002, 7.8% of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 38.4% of children in female-householder families.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2002, P20-547, Table C8. Washington, D.C.: GPO 2003.

2. Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Fact:

- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.”

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. Survey on Child Health. Washington, DC, 1993.

3. Physical and Emotional Health

Fact:

- Unmarried mothers are less likely to obtain prenatal care and more likely to have a low birthweight baby. Researchers find that these negative effects persist even when they take into account factors, such as parental education, that often distinguish single-parent from two-parent families.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. Report to Congress on Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing. Hyattsville, MD (Sept. 1995): 12.

- Children in single-parent families are two to three times as likely as children in two-parent families to have emotional and behavioral problems.Source: Stanton, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics.”National Health Interview Survey.” Hyattsville, MD, 1988.

4. Educational Achievement

Fact:

- After taking into account race, socioeconomic status, sex, age, and ability, high school students from single-parent households were 1.7 times more likely to drop out than were their corresponding counterparts living with both biological parents.Source: McNeal, Ralph B. Jr.”Extracurricular Activities and High School Dropouts.” Sociology of Education 68(1995): 62-81.

5. Crime

Fact:

- Children in single parent families are more likely to be in trouble with the law than their peers who grow up with two parents.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey. Hyattsville, MD, 1988.

6. Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy

Fact:

- A white teenage girl from an advantaged background is five times more likely to become a teen mother if she grows up in a single-mother household than if she grows up in a household with both biological parents.Source: Whitehead, Barbara Dafoe. “Facing the Challenges of Fragmented Families.” The Philanthropy Roundtable 9.1 (1995): 21.

Fathers matter, so women need to choose men who will be good fathers. And that means having an idea of what fathers do, and knowing how to evaluate a man to see if he can do what fathers do. There’s more to fathers than handsomeness and fun!

Research from the Heritage Foundation

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New study finds that regular intoxication makes teens more sexually active

Story from the Toronto Sun. (H/T Lex Communis)

Excerpt:

Pot-smoking teenaged girls are more likely to have sex than those who don’t, a new study suggests.

Drunkenness also increases sexual activity in teens, especially when boys and girls are allowed to spend too much time together, according to a report by the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada released yesterday.

“Adolescent sexual behaviour places teens at risk of ill health, unintended pregnancy and emotional concerns. The earlier teens initiate sex the greater the risk,” said Peter Jon Mitchell, an analyst for the institute.

[...]The study found 39% of teens aged 14 to 19 have had sexual intercourse, which is 41% of girls and 38% of boys.

Teen smoking also increased the likelihood of promiscuity. Girl smokers were 78% more likely to have sex while boys were 98% more likely to engage in sexual activity, the report says.

“Analysis also revealed that teen girls who reported they had never smoked were 58% less likely than the national average to have had sexual intercourse while boys who reported they never smoked were 56% less likely,” Mitchell said.

Life Site News adds:

Study researcher, Peter Jon Mitchell, said that the findings underscore what parents may know intuitively to be true. “Teens who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior,” said Mitchell. “This study reveals a ‘risk profile’ that may help parents as they nurture their teens through to adulthood. And it becomes all the more critical when we consider the correlation between attempting suicide and sexual activity, particularly among girls.”

The study “Rated PG, Part II: How drugs, alcohol and other factors influence teen sexual activity,” can be read in full in English, here. “Part I: Rated PG: How parental influence impacts teen sexual activity” is available here.

Something for parents to think about. And talk about.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

MUST-READ: What does the Bible say about forcing pro-lifers to perform abortions?

Story from the New York Post. (H/T Hot Air – Cassy Fiano)

Excerpt:

A Brooklyn nurse claims she was forced to choose between her religious convictions and her job when Mount Sinai Hospital ordered her to assist in a late-term abortion against her will.

The hospital even exaggerated the patient’s condition and claimed the woman could die if the nurse, a devout Catholic, did not follow orders, the nurse alleges in a lawsuit.

“It felt like a horror film unfolding,” said Catherina Cenzon-DeCarlo, 35, who claims she has had gruesome nightmares and hasn’t been able to sleep since the May 24 incident.

The married mother of a year-old baby was 30 minutes into her early-morning shift when she realized she had been assigned to an abortion. She begged her supervisor to find a replacement nurse for the procedure. The hospital had a six-hour window to find a fill-in, the suit says.

Bosses told the weeping Cenzon-DeCarlo the patient was 22 weeks into her pregnancy and had preeclampsia, a condition marked by high blood pressure that can lead to seizures or death if left untreated.

The supervisor “claimed that the mother could die if [Cenzon-DeCarlo] did not assist in the abortion.”

But the nurse, the niece of a Filipino bishop, contends that the patient’s life was not in danger. She argued that the patient was not even on magnesium therapy, a common treatment for preeclampsia, and did not have problems indicating an emergency.

Her pleas were rejected, and instead she was threatened with career-ending charges of insubordination and patient abandonment, according to the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court.

Feeling threatened, Cenzon-DeCarlo assisted in the procedure.

She said she later learned that the hospital’s own records deemed the procedure “Category II,” which is not considered immediately life threatening.

WARNING: I am now going to be really mean. Please don’t read the rest of this if you don’t like me being judgmental against atheists.

I was thinking about the kinds of things that atheists think are “moral” and interpreting those things within a Biblical framework. I know that atheists support abortion because they don’t want to be compelled to diminish their own happiness by tending to the needs of their own baby, conceived as a result of their own irresponsible sexual behavior. So when they force a pro-life nurse to perform an abortion, what they are really saying is “I don’t want anyone punishing other people with the unhappy consequences of their own selfish pursuit of happiness, because then no one will judge and punish me when I do the same as they did”.

The problem is that atheists don’t want to be thought of as people who are willing to go as far as killing others in order to avoid facing judgment and consequences for their own actions. They have to invent some myth that justifies the abortion, instead. If they could only invent some plausible-sounding myth that would convince other people, and themselves, that their abortion was justified by some greater good. With the right myth, they could continue their pursuit of pleasure unimpeded by consequences and social disapproval. What possible myth could possibly provide moral justification for something as extreme as abortion?

Well, atheists decided to invent several myths to provide rationalization for abortion:

  • Darwinism – animals do it, and we’re just animals, so let’s do it!
  • overpopulation – we’ll all starve by 1970! Oops, I mean 1990! 2050!
  • resource exhaustion – we’ll be out of oil by 1970! Oops, I mean 1990! 2050!
  • global warming – too many people are driving cars so some have to go away!
  • embryonic stem-cell research – it will turn lead into gold, you’ll see!
  • rising crime rates – who cares about what economists say!
  • etc.

So basically they are inventing myths in order to justify abortion as a legitimate means of pursuing happiness in this life. And this made me think of how child sacrifice was used by pagan nations in the Bible. It’s exactly what is predicted in Romans 1:18-32, which is arguably the most useful passage in the Bible for understanding what our existence here is really about. They didn’t want to take responsibility for those demanding, expensive children they conceived during unmarried sex, because those children would reduce their selfish pursuit of pleasure. So they invented a variety of baseless myths in order to make abortion appear “moral” to themselves and to others.

The Bible mentions the habit of inventing “speculations” in order to avoid having to obey the moral law. Atheists feel that they are too “smart” to be restrained by authentic morality, especially one that is constantly under fire in the public schools, the mainstream media and pop culture. So they do destructive things and then are surprised to feel guilty about it. They want to be happy while sinning, and to avoid the natural consequences of sin that serve as warning signs of the judgment to come. If anyone dares to imply that there is any morality higher than selfishness, (say, by wearing a cross in public or by questioning Darwinism), then they use the power of the state to silence them.

That’s atheist “morality”. The Bible’s diagnosis of sin really hasn’t changed in 2000 years. The people who rebel against God have just found more sophisticated myths to justify their selfish pursuit of pleasure. Before, it was Molech. Today, it’s overpopulation causing global warming. And they are not afraid to enforce these myths on religious people using the power of the state. Anything to make everyone celebrate their destructive actions as though they were in fact good. And if they have to kill many people to pursue happiness, well, that’s fine on atheism – there is no “right to life” on atheism. It’s survival of the fittest. Morality is just an illusion created by evolution.

And that is why a pro-life nurse was forced to perform an abortion – because she made people who reject God feel guilty by calling attention to a real standard of objective morality which defies atheistic efforts to rationalize hedonism with speculative myths. She was telling them that we should not take the life of an innocent unborn human being just because it makes us happier to do so. She was opposing their hedonistic purposes, and the speculative myths that they had invented to justify their selfish, irresponsible pursuit of pleasure. Christian morality isn’t a headlong pursuit of selfish pleasure. It’s about self-denial and self-sacrifice – which is not pleasurable.

As I wrote before:

The great moral accomplishment of atheists in the last 100 years has been to murder 100 million people. And this is not counting the millions of deaths caused by abortion, and environmentalist bans on DDT. It also doesn’t count the millions of broken homes caused by the sexual revolution, or the social costs of raising children without fathers who go on to commit crimes.

When the intuitive awareness of God’s moral requirements conflicts with the atheistic desire for selfish happiness, atheists first do the crime, then they search around frantically for some fig-leaf to justify it as “moral”. Any speculation will do, and the “evidence” can be manufactured (at taxpayer expense) to fit the myths. They believe that if they could just get everyone to see that evil is really good, and to celebrate their selfish hedonism, then their feelings of guilt would vanish, and their happiness level would increase. Their attempts to demonize Christianity and Christians is also part of their plan – they want to celebrate their own behavior as moral and deride the behavior of authentic Christians as immoral.

The very concept of morality is illusory on an atheistic worldview.

And lest anyone think that I can’t defend the Christian worldview as true, click here and start engaging.

Filed under: Polemics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Canadian study suggests how parents can influence children’s sexual choices

Story here at No Apologies. (H/T Andrew)

This is based on a study by the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada. (IMFC)

Excerpt:

Parents’ behaviour and attitudes during childhood shape a teen’s sexual choices. Based on our findings we recommend:

• Parents should be the prime sex educator. Parents are the most influential force in a teens life

• Parents should work to create a healthy, stable home characterized by warmth, open communication and clear expectations

• Parents should model a healthy lifestyle and positive choices. Your children are watching

• Sex education should engage parents and recognize their role as the primary sex educators

• Sex education should acknowledge that girls face unique risks compared to boys when it comes to early sexual engagement

While it may seem daunting to see correlations between family behaviours years ago and sexual activity in your children today – the news is positive. Teens do listen and want to listen to their parents, as indicated by surveys and polls. It’s something to remember next time your teen slams the door and turns up the music.

Here are the four practical tips discussed in the IMFC article:

  • Eliminate parental use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco
  • Involved and engaged fathers and increased parent-child communication
  • Increased community involvement by parents, especially church
  • Married parents biologically linked to the children

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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