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. Olivia Casey on January 14, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Why is birth control the focus of your article? If your point is that young people are so morally depraved, how will keeping birth control away from them change anything? It wont teach them morals – that takes actual thinking.
    If you’re dictating morality, then it’s not morality at all. If you’re telling a kid X is right and Y is wrong, and they do X but really don’t understand why it is right, that doesn’t make them right, it makes them a mindless idiot.
    Shouldn’t you be really trying to change their moral attitudes, beliefs, etc. by engaging in – i don’t know – meaningful discourse with them? To try to get them to actually have the well- thought out opinions on the inside, instead of being bitter about what they’re being told to do?
    No one cares about the actual moral and intellectual development of children any more. Sure, they can be fed awful culture on the one hand. But how exactly is dogmatic religion any better?
    Not impressed by this article. Not coming back. Sorry my honest opinion. I still respect you but I really dislike this content. Same old, same old.

  2. JoeC on January 14, 2014 at 2:44 am

    I looked up this article and I don’t see anything even close to the same numbers. Also, the spermicide stat also includes people who use rhythm and abstinence.
    The average failure rate for all reversible methods, adjusted for abortion underreporting, declines from 13% to 8% from the first year of method use to the second year. First-year failure rates are highest among women using spermicides, withdrawal and periodic abstinence (on average, 23-28% in the first year), and lowest for women relying on long-acting methods and oral contraceptives (4-8%). On average, they exceed 10% for all users except women aged 30-44, married women and women in the highest poverty-status category. The chance of accidental pregnancy does not differ significantly between method users younger than 18 and those aged 18-19.

  3. Lori on January 14, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    I used to read Dear Abby faithfully as a child of 12 and 13. Yes, I was a CHILD. I never remember encountering any letters like the one you describe above.
    I agree with what you say about Planed Parenthood, but also have another question for us all. When did it become acceptable to publish a letter like that in a newspaper advice column? Especially a column that is so easy and inviting for kids to read.
    I agree with your statement 100%. It IS time to take back our kids from the culture. Many, but not enough, are doing just that.

    • quinersdiner on January 14, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      Lori, your point is on the mark: why is Abby printing letters like this? The answer is because she is trying to remain relevant; but even more, this subject matter is pretty tame by modern standards. Thanks for writing.

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