Three of every ten women who test positive for pregnancy at The Pregnancy Center are surprised that they are pregnant, because they tell us that they are "on a contraceptive" or "used a condom."
That means that birth control has failed 30 percent of the time for those who become pregnant and visit our center. This is hardly "safe sex"!
Local representatives from Planned Parenthood regularly state that there is only a 2-3 percent failure rate for condoms if they are "correct used (such as in "No sex-ed: Abstinence-only aims for local support," the Hook, May 3).
The 2-3 percent failure rate that the manufacturers publish is based on tests in their laboratories.
Teen sex does not take place in a condom lab. Many steps and considerations need to be followed perfectly if a condom is to be "used correctly." Adults do not use a condom perfectly each time, let alone a teen with little experience.
Condoms also offer little to no protection against many sexually transmitted diseases and are not 100 percent effective against any of them.
Planned Parenthood of America's own Web site states the following regarding condom failure: "Of 100 women whose partners use condoms, about 15 will become pregnant during the first year of typical use" (http://www.plannedparenthood.org/birth-control-pregnancy/birth-control/condom.htm).
The March 2007 conference on the "Evaluation of Abstinence Education" sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services featured 30 studies that demonstrated the positive results of abstinence education.
A May Zogby poll showed that the majority of parents (59 percent vs. 22 percent) want more funding for abstinence education and less for comprehensive sex education. Abstinence education receives $1 for every $12 of government spending for comprehensive sex education. The poll also showed that the overwhelming majority of parents want their children to wait until marriage before having sex, that sex education should emphasize abstinence more than condom/contraceptive use and that sex education should provide greater emphasis on the risks of condoms in preventing sexually transmitted diseases.
Parents still have the greatest influence over their children. Parents should encourage children to make decisions they can live with for the rest of their lives without regrets. Our youth are worth it!
Ron Schneider is executive director of The Pregnancy Centers of Central Virginia.