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Posted Sept. 19, 2008
Jaclyn Mittman
Arts Editor

Lately, Sarah Palin has been in the news regarding family drama and whether she is experienced enough to be a vice president.

However, the one thing that fails to be mentioned is her beliefs that could cause major harm to teens in the United States.

I’m sure you are probably thinking, what harm could Sarah Palin have on teens?

Well, if McCain was indeed elected as president and something catastrophic happened, Sarah Palin would be put in place as president of the United States. Then, she could implement her views on the rest of the country.

What would happen, you might ask?

Well, you can kiss goodbye any form of sex education and say hello to the unrealistic teaching of abstinence.

Sarah Palin is a firm believer in abstinence as a birth control. But let us be honest here and just say that it clearly does not always work. Case in point, her 17-year-old daughter.

There are many risks and problems that come with getting rid of sex education and making it difficult to get proper access to birth control.

I mean, come on. Teens are going to have sex. Well, maybe not all of them, but many teens will end up having sex at least once in high school.

By teaching only abstinence, teens are not learning important things regarding sex that could help them through the rest of their life.

These important aspects include safe sex, birth control and parental planning. All of these things help reduce the risks of sexually transmitted diseases, high abortion rates and help prevent teen pregnancies.

Where are teens to turn if they are not granted access to this information and are never properly informed?

Planned Parenthood said that about 750,000 teenagers in the United States will become pregnant this year, and at least one in four teen girls in America has a sexually transmitted infection.

These numbers could be seriously reduced through sexual education, not through the teaching of abstinence.

Palin’s negative view of sex education is a huge threat to the safety of many teenagers.

The problem not only lies within Palin’s hands, but also in the hands of parents and schools.

According to Planned Parenthood, only 5 percent of American students receive comprehensive sex education that covers all the dimensions of sexuality.

This is a very sad number and should be a major concern in this year’s election.

Palin’s desire for abstinence teaching will hurt these numbers even more, enlarging the problem and thereby creating an even bigger danger for teens.

I truly hope that if McCain is elected as president, Palin will not push her views on the rest of the country.

This can be incredibly problematic. Clearly, her views on this will not change.

I just honestly hope that the lack of sex education does not worsen, because Palin will be the one to be blamed.

Planned Parenthood works with state and federal governments to provide proper sex education that will help teens prevent unintended pregnancies and stay healthy.

To take a stand for real sex education, visit www.plannedparenthood.org to find out how you can help and make a difference for teens in the future.

Jaclyn Mittman, a senior journalism major, is arts editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at jaclyn.mittman@laverne.edu.