WorldNutDaily Stupidity on Teen Pregnancy

If there's one thing you can rely on in this world, it's knowing that the Worldnutdaily's writers can be counted on to write something completely contrary to reality at least a dozen times a day. Here's today's example, from Kevin McCullough's column about Hillary Clinton promoting the use of condoms:

It was no secret that condom use in America under her husband's leadership was at an all time ... er ... high. A lot of things were: the flow of pornography, teen pregnancy, abortion and, yes, the use of, discussion of, demonstrations in public schools of ... condoms.

The italics, for some bizarre reason, are in the original. So are all the lies. Now let's have a valuable reality check. Bill Clinton was in office from 1992 to 2000, but stats are generally measured by the decade, from 1990 to 2000. So if McCullough is right, teen pregnancy and teen abortion must have increased to all time highs during that time period, right? Wrong. Not even in the proverbial ballpark. Here are the actual statistics:

Teen pregnancy declined throughout the 90s, from 116 per 1000 in 1990 to 85 per 1000 in 2000. That's the lowest it has been since 1976. And we can break it down even more than that. As I noted in a previous essay, the rates of teen pregnancy are, on the whole, higher in the so-called "red states" populated by religious conservatives and lower in the "blue states" populated, presumably, by pagan liberal heathen types. Texas, which just voted for sex education textbooks that don't even mention contraception, is one of only 5 states with a teen pregnancy rate above 100 per 1000. In fact, 7 of the 10 states with the highest rates of teen pregnancy are red states. So far this isn't looking very good for McCullough.

How about the abortion rate, which McCullough also says was at an "all time high" under Clinton? Again, just the opposite is true. In 1990, the rate of abortions was 26.5 per 1000. In 2000, it was 14.5 per 1000.

He also tries to give credit for the declines to the Bush administration and to abstinence programs:

And on Bush's watch, the very administration she seems so intent on degrading, STD growth, teen pregnancy and abortion are all in sharp decline. Funny enough, the president's message is one of abstinence.

Bzzzt. That's wrong too. Abstinence-only programs began in 1998, but the bulk of the decline in those rates occured between 1991 and 1997. Advocates for Youth analyzed the yearly numbers from the CDC and concluded: "Sexual behaviors significantly improved from 1991 to 1997, but showed little change from 1999 to 2003 after the implementation of federally funded Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage initiatives in 1998." In fact, the percentage of sexually active high schoolers, which had dropped from 54.1% in 1991 to 45.6 in 2001 actually went back up to 46.7 in 2003.

On top of that, we know from the cross national statistics that teenagers in the rest of the Western world, where the norm is comprehensive sex education and widespread availability of birth control and sexual health care for teenagers, have far lower incidences of teen pregnancy, teen abortion, and sexually transmitted diseases than American teens. And it's not close. The American rates are more than double the next highest European nation, and a full seven times higher than in the Netherlands, which has the most comprehensive sex education program in the world. And all the lies the Worldnutdaily can pack into a commentary isn't gonna change those facts.

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