Abstinence is best policy

Published 7:31 am Monday, January 23, 2006

By By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER – Managing editor
Abstinence is the best protection from an unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases that could haunt you for the rest of your life.
The Escambia County Children's Policy Council, in partnership with Hope Place Family Resource Center in Brewton, has been awarded a grant from The Alabama Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy to be used for educational support in Escambia County.
This grant is being used to provide Abstinence Based Educational Training for professionals, parents, health care workers and the faith-based communities in an effort to provide new tools and strategies in working with children and teens.
Did you know that four out of 10 teenage girls become pregnant by the age of 20? According to a study in 2003 taken from the Adolescent and Family Health Journal, every eight seconds a teenager contracts a sexually transmitted disease and more than one in five Americans are presently infected with an STD.
Renee' Williams from S.A.F.E. Inc. will be delivering the training on Monday, Jan. 23 here at the D.W. McMillan Hospital from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Educational Center. She will also be speaking in Atmore on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at the First United Methodist Church from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
In a survey conducted in 2002, it showed that in Escambia County the teen pregnancy rate for girls aged 10 to 19 was 55.6 to 59.8 per 1,000. Among unmarried teenage girls ages 15 to 19 increased abstinence education accounted for 67 percent of the decrease in the pregnancy rate. More than 700 youth have already benefited from this curriculum.
This is the first &#8220You are Unique” abstinence based educational training in Escambia County. When 63 percent of all STDS occur in persons less than 25 years of age and 80 percent infected with an STD do not develop the initial symptoms, abstinence really is the best policy.