Palomar College caught a glimpse of what a pointless demonstration is on April 30, when the pro-life group AbortionNO came onto campus parading images of aborted fetuses.
We saw what we always see when these people come onto campus, they argued why abortion is despicable in our society, and members of the Palomar community expressed their ideas of women’s rights to their bodies.
The point is, it’s a divisive issue that one way or the other, people feel very strongly about and are nowhere near changing their view on the issue of abortion.
So the questions begging to be answered is: why even have these demonstrations?
Regardless of your position on abortion, most everyone can agree that an unplanned pregnancy is not ideal, yet we as a society have shoved the issue of unplanned pregnancies to the sideline so we can make way for the unachievable goal of coming to a consensus about abortion.
Each year in the United States, there occurs approximately 170,000 unintended teen pregnancies, 42 percent of which end in abortion. We are rank no. 1 in developed countries for unwanted teen pregnancies and abortions, and it is because of our society’s attitude towards sex and sex education.
Our country puts far too much stock in the teaching of abstinence programs. Of our 50 states, 37 require that abstinence education be taught, 26 of which require that it be stressed. Only 21 states mandate that sex education be taught, and just 17 require that contraceptive information be included.
This is a severe problem because those who receive abstinence only, or abstinence heavy education are actually linked to higher rates of unwanted teen pregnancies than those who received real sex education, and the future for change is looking bleak.
With social conservatism on the rise in the White House and on Capitol Hill, abstinence programs are continuing relatively unchallenged by the federal government. The Guttmacher Institute, a sexual health and reproductive rights organization noted that advocates for abstinence programs are fighting back with arguments based on rhetoric, however, they say “abstinence-only programs remain as flawed as ever.”
As college students, we are the future of this country, we are the future of its education and its policies. The Palomar motto is “Learning for Success,” we need to learn from the mistakes and failed agendas of those before us and focus on common goal solutions to truly make an impact on the quality of life for the community.
Quit the argument about what to do when a teen gets pregnant, and whether or not abortion is right or wrong. Instead let’s start focusing on how to better prevent unexpected teen pregnancies.