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Steinem: Abstinence Only Education Increases Number of Abortions

The birth control pill turns 50 this week, a milestones that has prompted widespread celebration in the mainstream media. This is just another example of the media touting the Pill. On the May 5 “Early Morning Show” Harry Smith gushed how the pill because it “freed women from biological bonds.”  Time's Nancy Gibbs unreservedly sang its praises. And on her May 6 HLN show, Joy Behar joined in celebrating the Pill with actress Hilary Swank and feminist Gloria Steinem. But the panel also used the anniversary to complain about abstinence-only education and other setbacks in the pro-abortion movement.


Behar didn't even seem quite sure why Swank was even a guest. She asserted, “You're too young. You don't remember before we had the birth control pill, Hilary. You don't remember before abortion was legal.

After Swank explained she was celebrating “the empowerment of women,” Behar wasted no time in expressing her disappointment over recent pro-life developments.  

Behar fretted that, “Oklahoma is trying to force women to look at their sonograms before they just say to go ahead with the abortion, and teen pregnancy is on the rise, biggest rise in ten years, all of a sudden. Bristol Palin is going around talking about abstinence even though, you know, as I always say, the moose is out of barn already. She's already given birth to a baby out of wedlock and now she's talking about abstinence. What do you make of all of that?”

Steinem was ready with the predictable lefty answer. “We've been sliding backward because part of the reason we have this enormous unwanted pregnancy rate among girls bigger than in any other democracy in the whole word is because they don't know about the Pill,” she said. “They don't know about other birth control methods. We've had abstinence-only education, hello.”

Steinem lamented that abstinence only-education “doesn't work, which increases the number of abortions, which increases the number of unwanted pregnancies, so yes, we have the Pill, but we don't have access to it in all the methods that contribute to having reproductive freedom.”

Behar stated that 63 percent of woman are uninformed about the Pill and questioned if “abstinence education is to blame for that?”

Steinem continued, “Yeah. It's perfectly clear. Can you look at studies – that it increased abortion and increased unwanted pregnancy, and you had to have abstinence only education or you didn't get federal funds.” Steinem complained how the United States was the “only democracy” where sex education “wasn't routine.”

Neither Behar nor Swank questioned Steinem's statement that abstinence only education increases the number of abortions. The panel also ignored statistics from the Heritage Foundation which found that teenagers who receive abstinence education not only wait longer to engage in sexual intercourse, but the education reduces the number of babies born out of wedlock.

This is just another example of the media touting the Pill. On the May 5 “Early Morning Show” Harry Smith too celebrated the Pill because it “freed women from biological bonds.”  Time's Nancy Gibbs also celebrated the pill, but failed to include all the negative implications it can bring.