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Dr. Gwenn: Teenage Pregnancy And Sex Ed - What Kids Really Need To Know

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Being a teen today is challenging. Add to that an unwanted pregnancy, it becomes a disaster. Pregnancy should be a happy and wanted situation but that isn't the situation for pregnant teens. If you look at the facts, they ring out loud and clear: abstinence does not work and teens today need not only information but access to birth control.

Lindsay Lohan blogged this week about Bristol Palin's pregnancy and made some fantastic points:

-"I get Sarah Palin's views against abortion, but i would much prefer to hear more about what she can do for our country rather than how her daughter is going to have a child no matter what."
-"i think that girls that are CHOOSING to be sexually active and are making a conscious decision to grow up faster..... I think that parents need to recognize how important it is to talk to their children about the things that can result from being sexually active if they aren't protecting themselves (birth control, condoms, etc.)"

I completely agree and made the same point in my syndicated column this month: Lessons from the Gloucester Teens: Babies are Responsibility! Parents must begin to understand our kids are individuals who will make decisions based on their perceived needs and facts. The only way we can help keep them safe is to arm them with real information and be receptive to honest discussions, even if we morally disagree with their choices. My column goes into much more detail but the highlights are that what our kids need to be safe is:

-Accurate and honest information
-A discussion of consequences
-Problem solving ways to keep themselves safe – that is, an honest talk of birth control
-The knowledge they can turn to their parents if something goes wrong

What if something goes wrong? What if our teen daugther becomes pregnant or teen son gets a teen girl pregnant? What is the right thing to do?

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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