Family planning has failed badly

Published 9:37 am Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In the May 20 issue of the Albert Lea Tribune, the Editorial Board made the remarks that the Republican lawmakers were “wasting time passing bills they know Gov. Mark Dayton will veto.” The bill they were referring to is a measure that would cut so called “family planning” to low-income families by one half. They then go on to state that, “Everyone knows cutting family planning leads to unintended pregnancies, which leads to more abortions.”

Oh really? Is this responsible journalism to throw out a statement like this and attribute it to “everyone” without stating even one source?

Dr. Brian Clowes, Ph.D. researcher for Human Life International, did an exhaustive study on this very topic and came up with the following data, which proves the sobering effects of government-funded family-planning programs and comprehensive sex education in schools. The study concludes that the more involved the government became in family planning, the worse things got. This study spans the years between 1960 to 1999:

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• In this time span abortions have increased from 200,000 a year to 1.4 million per year, despite the universal availability of contraception;

• Cohabitation has increased 700 percent and divorces have increased from 393,000 to 1.2 million per year as marriage has been devalued.

• The percentage of single-parent families has risen from 9 percent to 32 percent.

• Illegitimate births have increased from 224,000 to 1.5 million per year.

• The teenage pregnancy rate has increased from 30 to 110 per 1,000 girls annually.

• The incidence of sexually transmitted diseases has increased 245 percent.

• More than 400,000 people have died due to AIDS.

• Reported child abuse cases have risen from 200,000 to 3 million per year.

• The teen suicide rate has increased 286 percent, from 3.6 to 13.9 per 100,000 annually.

(Dr. Brian Clowes, PhD HLI, “The Facts of Life,” pp. 276-277)

Maybe, just maybe some very thoughtful and insightful legislators have studied these alarming trends and have come to the conclusion that these well-intentioned family-planning programs have failed miserably and need to be cut. But to accuse them of passing bills just to “appease” social conservatives is unfair and just plain poor journalism.

Scott Bute