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Pregnancy reaction raises red flags

April 23, 2006|by Angie Harsh

To the editor:

I have been following with great interest the articles on the growing rate of teen pregnancy in this county. Unlike most counties in the state, Washington County seems to have outdone itself on the sexual education program. For some reason, the powers that be think that younger is better.

Well, I for one, don't agree. They start introducing our children to sexual education before they leave elementary school. They think they have to run competition with television, music, etc. Again, I don't agree. Children know that most of what they see on TV is not real, but when it is taught in a classroom, that lends lots of credibility. These children are 10 years old and are still thinking oooooooh when they see people kissing on television.

Commissioner William Wivell said that parents should be teaching their children. I firmly agree, but I have to tell you that the schools beat them to it. One of the pamphlets called, "You are Growing and Changing" is so explicit that a number of years ago, when I asked the editorial page editor to reproduce it for the paper's readers I was told, "We can't do that, our readers would find that pamphlet offensive." Their adult, sexually active readers would find this offensive, yet they are giving it to 10-year-olds and have been since the '70s.

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Now the health department wants additional money for a nurse practitioner and medical supplies to address teen pregnancy. I have a few questions on this subject that I want answers to and I believe a lot of other people also want answers to.

The spokesman for the health department made a statement that shot out to me like neon lights. When Wivell said that they gave them money last year for this purpose yet the teen pregnancy rate drastically increased, he said he felt it was an unfair statement.

For instance, look at California, where it took five years for the teen birth rate to go down. What he did not say was that the teen pregnancy rate was going down. Was it a slip of the tongue, or was it a carefully worded statement? I for one would like it clarified, because there is a major difference. With them wanting to hire a nurse practitioner and not a registered nurse, the red flag goes up to me that abortions could come into play.

It takes nothing for a cervical dilation to take place, which would prompt a spontaneous abortion. It's easily and legally done by a nurse practitioner in the first month of pregnancy, without parents' knowledge or consent. I would like them to also define the medical supplies that they want the money for.

Before our County Commissioners just hand the health department that kind of money, I think that as citizens we need additional explanations of how they are going to decrease the pregnancy rate, rather than reduce the teen birth rate. I am just not comfortable with the way that sentence was worded.

One novel idea that they might try to reduce the teen pregnancy rate is to quit disrupting our children's age of innocence. Let them be kids, quit talking to them in elementary school about what they are going to be when they grow up, quit telling them about their rights and start stressing their responsibilities, and for heaven's sake, get rid of that pamphlet "You are Growing and Changing."

Let these children be kids, because they will grow up soon enough, and on their own time. Worry about teaching them that one plus one equals two, not that one plus one equals three. Lets face it, ever since sex education has been taught in the schools, the pregnancy rate has steadily increased. Sounds to me like that is the subject they are truly doing their homework on.

To the County Commissioners, you need to ask that question before you give them one dime, and need assurances that abortion, no matter how early, is not an option with our tax dollar.

Angie Harsh

Hagerstown

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