Friday, November 04, 2005


OK, here's an excerpt from a story at the Southern Baptist Conference Web site:

A record high number of 1.5 million babies were born to unwed mothers last year....

While teens accounted for half of all unwed births in 1970, they accounted for but only 24 percent of the total in 2004.

For women ages 20-24, 55 percent of births last year were to unwed mothers, and the figure was almost 28 percent for ages 25-29, the study said.

From 2002 to 2004, births to unwed mothers ages 25-29 jumped more than 14 percent, and for mothers ages 20-24, the number rose 7 percent....

So what's the Baptists' headline for this?

"Leaders say abstinence is key to decline in teen pregnancies"!

Yup -- there's a big overall increase in out-of-wedlock births, led by out-of-wedlock births to young adults, and because it's not led by teens, they claim victory.

"This new report is a composite of both good news and bad news," said Richard Ross, professor of student ministry at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and spokesperson for the international True Love Waits campaign.

"About the best news is that teens who once accounted for 50 percent of unwed births now represent only 24 percent," Ross said. "I am sure the condom crowd will want to take most of the credit for this drop, but the facts argue otherwise."

Actually, no one will want to take credit for this, because if you go here and look at Table 4 (PDF), you'll see that the number of teenage births also went up (from 343,670 to 348,934). They just make up a smaller percentage of the total because adult out-of-wedlock births make up a much larger share of the total.

And by the way, why are there so many out-of-wedlock births among young adults now? Could it be because so many young women had abstinence-only sex education in high school, and it just gets harder and harder to sustain abstinence once the peer pressure wears off (and harder and harder to avoid pregnancy when you've been told that using contraception will certainly lead you to hell and might kill you)?

No comments: