The Family Research Council, a conservative Christian organization that opposes same-sex marriage and wants to block students from receiving comprehensive sex education, has just found another target: young people who engage in premarital sex.
Wait a minute — could they have realized that the "effectiveness" of abstinence-only sex education is supported only by lies, and that there might actually be young people having sex? Unfortunately, this doesn't appear to be the case...
On Monday, senior FRC fellow Pat Fagan appeared on the radio program Washington Watch to discuss his new article that blames the Supreme Court for their 1972 decision that "set the nation on a course of gradual debilitation" by overturning a state law banning unmarried people from purchasing birth control.
"It’s not the contraception, everybody thinks it's about contraception, but what this court case said was young people have the right to engage in sex outside of marriage," said Fagan. "Society never gave young people that right, functioning societies don’t do that, they stop it, they punish it, they corral people, they shame people, they do whatever."
But as it turns out, it is "about contraception," as shaming people who have sex increases the likelihood that they will find an excuse not to use contraception. If a person is ashamed of having sex, this will render them less likely to purchase or request a prescription for birth control. In attacking those who have sex before marriage, Fagan is simultaneously discouraging the use of contraceptives.
Unfortunately for the FRC — and some parts of the country — premarital sex is becoming the norm in the United States, and students in states that have abstinence-only sex education account for the highest teen pregnancy rates and have an increased likelihood of contracting a sexually transmitted infection.
Additionally, a recent survey showed that 80% of unmarried evangelical Christians report that they are having sex, and these results parallel the increasing number of young people who care less about abstinence and homophobia than "outward expressions" of faith. Although the evangelical church is beginning to accept the idea of using contraception, many leaders still discourage its use.
Fagan's article also targeted Planned Parenthood, stating that it needed only "the Court's decision to distribute contraceptives to singles" in order to enforce "its vision of family planning," which, of course, led to "multigenerational single-parent families" in inner cities.
Despite Fagan's outlandish claims, a 2012 survey concluded that 63% of people support a government mandate that private health insurance plans cover the cost of birth control. Outrageously, this country seems to think that sex isn't such a bad thing, that you should use protection if you don't want to start a family yet, and that this protection should be freely available to whoever wants it.
We have a multitude of educational resources available to us to ensure young people — who, yes, are having sex — can prevent having children until they are ready and avoid contracting an STI. Fagan and the FRC are making very unrealistic claims, and those who believe them could soon face a situation none of them, especially the young people, are prepared to face.