Abstinence vs. contraception

By Tom Quiner

“Dear Abby” reveals the false thinking of the Planned Parenthood crowd.

A 15 year old girl wrote Abby last fall:

“I’m 15. I have dated since I was 12 but never told my parents and sort of went out of my way to hide it from them. I had sex when I was 13, but was always careful about using birth control. I’m on the pill and always use condoms.”

Before I continue, did you note her use of double protection when engaging in sex? She’s on the Pill AND uses a condom. Please continue for the rest of the story:

“I got pregnant anyway, five months ago. I always had irregular periods so I didn’t realize it until two months ago. The doctor told me I was having a girl. I was scared out of my mind, but I was planning to tell the father and my parents. Then early last month I got a terrible pain. I went to the clinic and had a miscarriage.”

Planned Parenthood tells teen aged girls it’s okay to have sex as long as you use the Pill, or a condom, or some other form of birth control.

This girl used both, and still got pregnant.

Abby’s advice? More birth control:

“Because the birth control you were using didn’t prevent your pregnancy, you should ask a health care provider for advice about avoiding another unplanned pregnancy in the future. A staff member at your local Planned Parenthood health center or other clinic, or your own physician, can discuss all of your options and help you get the birth control you need.”

In other words, this girl already heeded Planned Parenthood’s advice and it failed her. Why would Abby send her back to the same people who got her in the mess?

There is only one way to avoid a pregnancy: abstinence. And yet America’s political Left reviles and mocks abstinence.

They push contraception onto our teens like it is some panacea.

It is not.

A comprehensive study was conducted by  N Ranjit, A Bankole, JE Darroch, and S. Singh: “Contraceptive Failure in the First Two Years of Use: Differences Across Socioeconomic Subgroups,” Family Planning Perspectives and highlighted on the pro birth control website, Contracept.org.

They found that 49.8 of teens using spermicides will be pregnant within two years.

27.5% of those using condoms will be pregnant within two years.

14% using the Pill will be pregnant within two years.

Zero percent of those who abstain will be pregnant.

The geniuses at Planned Parenthood are encouraging birth control, perhaps because it increases the supply of unintended pregnancies, which increases their abortion business. The chart above spells it out.

The teen girl in the letter to Abby above started having sex at 13. You can see that the odds of her becoming pregnant at some point over the span of her teenage years is very high, even if she is using birth control.

On the other hand, if she abstains, she will not get pregnant. In addition, she will not get a sexually transmitted disease, which can lead to cancer and early death.

Sixty-five percent of our teens have had sex by their senior year in high school. 9.1 million of our teens and young adults contract a STD each year.

You might say that we can’t change human behavior. Nonsense. The government, with vigorous support from liberals, began promoting the dangers of cigarette smoking in the early 1960s. We have witnessed 38 consecutive years of declining per capita cigarette consumption.

You remember their lawsuits against “Big Tobacco.” Why not the same outrage against Planned Parenthood?

Because liberals are in the pocket for Planned Parenthood. Of course they’ll support contraception. It’s good for Planned Parenthood.

Dear Abby has bought into the lie. Who knows how many young lives are going to be devastated by the bad advice on morality, chastity, and health they’re receiving from the media, from Hollywood, and our schools.

Time to take our kids back from the culture.


  1. violetwisp on March 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    This is a perfect story to share, it illustrates every point I’d like to make. A 13 year old girl having sex behind her parents back will obviously not have had an open discussion about birth control with them. Someone who gets pregnant while on the pill and using condoms is not using either correctly. I used condoms for almost 20 years with no problems, and then got pregnant within two months of trying for a child. You cannot sell these lies and expect to be taken seriously.

    This child was an ignorant product of a society that does not educate teenagers appropriately. It is more likely that if her parents had had a frank and open discussion with her about sex, she would have chosen to wait till she was older, or at least would have know how to use birth control correctly.

    Presumably she was practicing abstinence (one of your 100%) *before* she started having sex. The abstinence statistic is utterly meaningless unless people can stay abstinent. You know this is not the case, please stop using it as if it means anything.

    • *niM@#38! on January 13, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      No, this is the perfect post that illustrates what *I* have to say, because it really shows you just how my fellow teens really operate.

      I’m a teenager in Canada.

      Sex education is very much in our curriculum.

      Fact: Despite a girl at my school being taught about every contraceptive measure you can dream of by both the school and her parents,being told strongly about using them, her and her boyfriend have still had pregnancy scares. Why? Because despite being specifically told this – despite being SPECIFICALLY educated on this subject – and by the way, our education system actually makes us properly apply condoms on wooden you-know-whats, so you can’t call me out on us not having “proper” education – she is just “too lazy” to follow through with it. That’s a teenager for you (and I won’t lie; in other respects, I’ma pretty lazy myself). The girl already knows what’s best for her about these issues. Does this stop her from having sex with her boyfriend every other day (often not bothering to use a condom) and smoking marijuana? No.

      This happens to many teenagers in my high school.

      FACT: Just because you teach a teenager about something or teach them about a smart way to do something DOES NOT MEAN THEY WILL LISTEN TO YOU. Pardon me for the caps, but why do some adults (I’m guessing you’re one of them) always think all of us teenagers are so smart? we’re not. I know I’m not smart myself, even though I don’t have sex, don’t take drugs, stuff like that. I know I will always make the smartest decisions when I am older. I take a look at my dad and the stories he tells me about his reckless childhood, then take a look at the man he is today, and I realize that you only really start to make smart decisions when you’re older.

      This is why adults who know about drugs know better than to smoke a pack a day, or drink recklessly. If they don’t, it’s because they were exposed to these drugs at a younger age (like my grandfather – age 13, hmm) and found themselves hooked on it. And even though you may tell a teenager this, you’re forgetting that us teenagers are so much more influenced by peer pressure and are so much more concerned about the person we are today than the person we will be tomorrow; the person affected by this person now. Some of us are smarter about this, but a lot aren’t. A lot of us need time to figure these things out. No matter how much you tell us something is bad, like cramming for tests last minute (guilty as charged!) we’ll still probably do it sometimes. I get good grades in school, but because I cram, I don’t get enough sleep, I’m always tired, and my health suffers for it. So what exactly makes you think that telling us to have safe sex means that we’re always going to do it?

      I’m sure you MUST know that Canada is pretty liberal about sex. Yeah, they tell us in school (especially middle school) that abstinence reduces the risk of STI’s and pregnancy by 100%, but they still offer us all of the contraceptive options and teach us about them IN DETAIL. Us teenaged girls even have a place where we can go for free to discuss our sex lives and ask for contraceptives and get tested for STI’s and pregnancy and all that. We have the resources. Does that mean we always apply them? No.

      We teenagers don’t think much about our futures. Most kids in my school (including me) don’t really know where we are going with our lives, so we just go “meh” and don’t think much of it. We never think about bad things in the future. I know me, I know my friends, and I know other kids. I’m going to tell you this honestly from seeing other girls’ experiences: a teenaged girl when she’s all set for having sex with a guy will actually sometimes go, “well, I’m out of condoms, and the drugstore is far away, and I’m lazy, so I’m just gonna cross my fingers…” Welcome to the mind of a teenager.

      And drug education? Learning about drugs didn’t stop the thousands of kids in my province from doing them. Not getting EXPOSED to drugs, then not getting PRESSURED into drugs, or getting exposed to drugs but seeing how damaging it is to your body only when it’s too late – THAT’S what makes teenagers learn. Doing the whole-hearted pledge of “I will not do drugs!” in sixth grade didn’t stop my old best friend from becoming a pothead. She really was honest when she made that pledge, too. No, the fact that drug dealers and your usual rebel kid that she became friends with made her into a pothead. Now, I’m not saying the education doesn’t benefit anyone – it certainly benefited me, and many others – but what I AM saying is that not all kids will listen to education. We usually learn the hard way, because some of us think we know better than adults! That’s the teenage mind. And we also make mistakes – more mistakes than the average adult – so who’s to say that even the girl who tries her hardest to stick to the pill schedule or to use condoms won’t suddenly go, “Oh, I forgot to take my pill this week,” or “Oh, I think the condom might have slipped! Oh well! It’s okay this one time!” Like me, when I go, “Oops! I forgot to study! Well I’ll just wing it!”

      Please, I am speaking as a teenager. What I honestly think is best for my generation is for adults like you to rethink what you keep insisting on feeding us. Sex hasn’t made us happier. Pornography hasn’t made us happier. I know lot’s of girls who have sex or have had sex. Most of their relationships are built on sex, and they don’t last, and they wind up unhappy. Lots of boys use these girls for the sex and never speak to them again. But, yay for our all-sex society! (Haha. No.)

      I’m just so done with so many adults in Canada practically encouraging us to have sex. We’re teenagers. We don’t know any better. I can’t really say much else…I can just say I’m exhausted. But what do you want our schools to do? They taught us sex-ed and we’re still not happy, and teenage pregnancies are actually on the rise. What more do you want for you to see that SEX IS THE PROBLEM, NOT SEX-ED. Do you want our teachers to smack us over the head with rulers everyday chanting “THIS IS HOW YOU PROPERLY APPLY A CONDOM…” Knowing some of the people at my school, they’d probably just tune out or still screw up somehow.

      And stop assuming teenagers are just sex-crazed and slaves to their hormones. We’re not. We can control ourselves, if we’re taught about certain values. My parents taught my brother and me abstinence. Are we rolling on the floor foaming at the mouth from the “repression”? No. I spend my day reading interesting books (not sexual books, btw). My brother is more focused on his computer programming skills. So I resent you saying that people can’t stay abstinent. Are you saying that our lives depend on us having a sex life? No. Nonononono.

      I’ve seen what sex does to other teens. They don’t respect each other because of sex. Teenaged boys today are extremely misogynistic because society tells them they can have as much sex as they want. Girls are more depressed. The boys and girls who don’t have sex? We have more fun! We also respect each other more. Teenage years are supposed to be about being dorks and building friendships, learning how to respect each other. Sex just kinda ruins that (kinda really). Stop trying to mature us. This isn’t our time for sex. And you know, I notice a trend where teens who have more sex actually do pretty bad as far as grades go. I WONDER WHY.

      I’m so done with the whole sex-obsessed society. Can’t you see that, um, it’s not really working out for us? Divorce, depression, I can go on… Plus I’ve heard more gross language come out of a 10-year-old’s mouth than my 25 year old brother. That is just sad. Disgusting and sad.

  2. askthebigot on March 19, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    • Bob Vance on March 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      I think you need to differentiate between unwanted pregnancies and having children out of wedlock.

      • gipsika on March 21, 2013 at 8:25 am

        Hmmm… one can have a very much wanted child, out of wedlock.

  3. Lisa Bourne on March 20, 2013 at 8:15 am

    A thirteen-year-old should not be having sex. Period. Neither Planned Parenthood nor “Dear Abby” should be encouraging it either. Period. This is child abuse. All the claims in the world of how “safe” the sex is with condoms and/or the pill matter not as they are beside the point until the discussion turns to the lesser specifics of why a child should not be engaging in sexual activity. People are not animals. They have self control. They either choose to employ it ot not. And children are either taught it or not, have it fostered or not, by the caring adults in their lives. Pushing sex, contraception and immoral behavior on minors is the action of a predator. God help the children who are lacking good guidance in their lives, and God help the souls of the adults who are leading them astray.

    • quinersdiner on March 20, 2013 at 10:06 am

      Well put. Thanks for weighing in, Lisa.

  4. Bob Vance on March 20, 2013 at 11:35 am

    And of course we all know everyone who has ever written Dear Abby is telling the truth. I would put this one down as Urban Legend, and you would have a hard to prove me wrong. But, it makes for a nice emotional story to rile up the troops.

    Why is it that every study I have seen that shows contraception as bad is put out by religious organizations? And we are to assume they are not biased? The majority of studies have just the opposite results, which I have posted here several times in the past.

    You can’t argue that having sex without using a contraceptive greatly increases your chance of pregnancy – which is why the majority of people in child-bearing age use it and have very good results.

    If used properly, most contraceptions are over 95% effective. The key is “used properly”. Contraception is like abstinence in that it only works if you follow the instructions. Abstinance only works if you follow the instructions – i.e. do not have sex. If it worked, we would not have unwanted preganacies.

    The statistic I would like to see is how many unplanned pregnancies are out there because of failure to be abstinant versus failed contraceptives. And of those contraceptives that failed, how many were due to operator error.

    • quinersdiner on March 20, 2013 at 11:39 am

      Why is that every study that shows contraception is good is put out by Planned Parenthood and other pro abortion organizations who profit from contraception failures?

      • Bob Vance on March 20, 2013 at 12:19 pm

        My wife and I used the pill for years without one unwanted pregnancy. For us it was 100% effective. Just look at family sizes before and after the pill was offered. You think married couples just stopped having sex?

        Look at what the use of condoms did for the spread of AIDS in this country?

      • Karen Quiner on March 20, 2013 at 12:45 pm

        Yes, Bob, families are smaller and we have more stuff, but whether this is good is very debatable.

        Marriage used to be primarily about the children. Contraception changed that. The advent of contraception started a snowball effect that has not been good for this country. When you remove procreation from sex, sex becomes primarily about pleasure.

        Contraception led to skyrocketing divorce rates and young people aren’t even bothering with marriage anymore. It led to abortion, broken families, an increase in pornography and the “using” of others for our own pleasure.

        On a practical level, we are just at the replacement rate in this country. It won’t be long before we are below replacement rate. Look up the movie called “demographic winter” for a chilling portrayal of what this will mean on a practical level. Europe is worse off and is in real trouble. In Russia it is even worse and they have offered to pay people to have children. It isn’t working.

        On a happy note, in my opinion, young Catholic families are getting the message and starting to have big families again. Just spend some time with one of them to see how healthy it is. The kids grow up sharing, happy, secure in the world, and with a good sense of what we really need to be happy.

      • gipsika on March 21, 2013 at 8:21 am

        @ Karin:
        “On a practical level, we are just at the replacement rate in this country. It won’t be long before we are below replacement rate. Look up the movie called “demographic winter” for a chilling portrayal of what this will mean on a practical level. Europe is worse off and is in real trouble. In Russia it is even worse and they have offered to pay people to have children. It isn’t working. ”

        Thanks for highlighting this!! First one mentioning it, I note. There’s a definite anti-babies trend amongst Europeans, and the Chinese too; while in Africa, politicians encourage their followers to “outbreed them” and not to worry about how the children will be supported. Sad but true.

  5. Bob Vance on March 20, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I would disagree on blaming the pill on all the chaos of the 60’s. I was around in the 60’s. Vietnam was the first war to be televised. People found it wasn’t like a John Wayne movie where good always wins or that we are always the good guy. We all got to see on the evening news the the raw carnage of bloodied soldier being carried away on stretchers. If you were rich, you didn’t have to go. For the first time, large groups of people started questioning authority.

    Many Republican-types tend to idolize the 1950’s as a time when it was good to be an American. It was, if you were white and male.

    Having large families bring with it additional health risks for both the baby and the mother. The Duggar family and Santorum family have both made news due to miscarriages. Mothers who have large familes tend to die at an earlier age. Plus, economically, large families tend to not due as well – many in the poverty range.

    • Karen Quiner on March 20, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      I didn’t blame the pill on the chaos of the 60’s but on the chaos of today.

      I don’t idolize the 1950’s, but do you disagree with me that there is a serious disintegration of the family since then? We may disagree on the cause, but it seems like it would be difficult to disagree that the family unit is in a serious state of disintegration.

      Perhaps large families bring additional health risks and of course they aren’t perfect, but they also bring a multitude of wonderful things to society.

      I grew up in a large family and by todays standards, we would have been considered poor, but by yesterdays standards we were not. We had plenty to eat, but never went out to eat or to the movies, but we had lots of things that affluent families today will never know. Good things. Great things as a matter of fact.

      Our family had its share of problems, but there isn’t one person in my family that wouldn’t give you the shirt off their back. We are all independent and although we live far away from each other, but we are very connected.

      And back to the health risks, we are living longer, and are healthier, but people end up spending their last years alone in nursing homes. How sad is that?

      • Bob Vance on March 20, 2013 at 3:27 pm

        None of my parents or grandparents ever got put in a nursing home. As my parents took care of their parents, we took care of ours in their final years.

        I grew up with just three siblings. I am not sure what wonderful things your family added to society that mine did not? I would love to hear about it. 🙂

        Like you, I have lots of good memories. We are still close and talk regularly. I can’t say we were poor, but having lived during the depression, my parents were what they liked to call “frugal”. As a child I hated that word. It kept me from having all the cool stuff my friends had. Today, I fully appreciate how it affected me.

        My mom worked as a nurse most of her adult life, which I doubt she would have done if she had five or six more kids. I do know she felt like she was making a positive difference in the world.

      • Karen Quiner on March 20, 2013 at 5:00 pm

        I was not suggesting that my family was any better than yours. I was only saying that a big family, although not perfect, can be a very good and healthy place to grow up.

        I do contend though, that too many families of today are not such good shape. The family unit of today is suffering. I am not talking about my family vs yours.

        That is wonderful you took care of your parents.

  6. […] Zero percent of those who abstain will be pregnant. […]

  7. gipsika on March 21, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Complex topic. Let me quickly explain how I got here. I’m neither Catholic (in fact, not Christian at all) nor atheist. (I’m not a Muslim either, FYI, nor a Satanist). I followed threads of blogs until I found the root cause of an answering blog, which I once again found on a friend’s blog.

    There are many topics that interest me without me being in one “camp” or the other. As I said, it’s more complex than that.

    As someone who applied it very effectively myself as a means of “family planning”, I can vouch for abstinence. I also used contraceptives and had no problem with them. As I said this is not a “camp” thing. One thing however is patently obvious:

    The younger a girl starts having sex, the more likely she sets herself up for teen pregnancy. Teenagers don’t have sex once in 14 days or so; once they are active they take every opportunity. It does not compare to a mature relationship of someone dating, e.g., in their twenties. Kids will not understand this until they get there themselves.

    Every contraceptive has a certain failure rate. Combined with being sparing about sex, one much reduces one’s chances of pregnancy; but the principle stands that every time you “do it”, you’re gambling. Even with contraceptives. It’s mind-bogglingly dumb of “Abby” to send the girl back to the clinic instead of telling her, well, child, sex causes babies! Next time, choose carefully and be aware. What “education” is this?

    The “statistical risk” of having an abnormal child when conceiving over a certain age, is e.g. 1 out of 20. But for the poor sod who actually is blessed with that abnormal child the chances are 1 out of 1. What are statistics? People misunderstand this.

  8. oarubio on May 5, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    But we can’t expect people to control themselves. Even the HHS mandate knows this by treating humans as if they’re animals who are only capable of acting on instinct… Your analogy with the reduction in smoking over the last 45 years was excellent. — Tony

    • quinersdiner on May 5, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      Thanks, Tony. I appreciate it.