Late last month, the journal Pediatrics, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, released a policy statement entitled Contraception for Adolescents. The statement is an update to the Academy’s 2007 statement on the same topic. The update “provides the pediatrician with a description and rationale for best practices in counseling and prescribing contraception for adolescents,” according to the journal article. The abstract says:
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that pediatricians develop a working knowledge of contraception to help adolescents reduce risks of and negative health consequences related to unintended pregnancy.
The American Academy of Pediatrics seems to have taken the same position of organizations like Planned Parenthood: that teens are going to have sex, so it may as well be so-called “safe sex.”
Subsequently, the American College of Pediatrics issued a press release entitled, Promoting the Myth of Safe Sex. The statement is a direct response to the Academy’s journal publication. Many individuals, including those at the American College of Pediatrics, are concerned by this mindset’s blindness to the consequent dangers that this behavior can have on adolescents, whose health they are committed to. The College’s press release states:
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), in its policy statement Contraception for Adolescents, promotes the myth of “safe sex” while ignoring the dire consequences that early sexual activity can have upon young people.
The College goes on to enumerate the negative effects associated with early sexual experience, and notes that concrete evidence supports the benefit of encouraging teens to delay this exploration until marriage:
Even when contraception is used, early sexual debut has been associated with negative consequences including multiple sexual partners, sexually transmitted infections (STI), increased likelihood of psychological injury (feelings of regret, depression, suicidal attempts), greater substance abuse, and lower academic achievement. Delaying sexual activity, ideally until marriage, has been associated with improved emotional and physical health, higher achievement, and a more stable marriage.
Groups like Planned Parenthood profit from the obfuscation of this message, however. The organization encourages teens to explore early, dangerous, and violating sexual experiences, which in turn necessitates the sale of a legion of contraceptives. And when those fail (and they do), the sale of abortions, which will in turn lead to even greater emotional and physical trauma in the adolescents they claim to care about.
In an email, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists praised the College’s press release, agreeing that the policy statement by the AAP was “shortsighted” and ignorant of many important facts regarding the relationship between pediatricians and contraceptives:
This shortsighted statement from the AAP neglects the fact that pediatricians are not trained in the placement of IUDs, nor the surgical management of complications when the IUD perforates the child’s uterus. Neither does the AAP address the issue of long term bone loss seen in teens who use contraceptive injections or implants. The AAP also neglects to address the fact that neither of their suggested contraceptive options protect the girl-child from sexually transmitted diseases. Even worse, the child is encouraged to make a decision with significant health implications in the absence of her parents.