Youth Ring ministry a positive step

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Issue: Silver Ring Thing is coming to Selma

Our position: Abstinence will prevent teen pregnancy

Imagine a child having a child.

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Dallas County has the second-highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the state. What does this say?

First of all, teen pregnancies carry extra health risks to the mother and the baby.

Often, teenagers don&8217;t receive adequate prenatal care, and they have a higher risk for pregnancy-related high blood pressure and those complications.

Risks for the baby include premature birth and low birthweight.

The children of teenage mothers are at greater risk of lower intellectual and academic achievement, health complications, social behavior problems and problems of self-control than are children of older mothers, primarily due to the effects of single parenthood, lower maternal education and large family size.

Seven in 10 teen mothers complete high school or eventually earn a GED, but they are less likely than women who delay childbearing to go on to college.

The growth in single-parent families remains the single most important reason for increased poverty among children during the last two decades, according to federal economic reports.

Today teenagers are invited to Crosspoint Christian Church to a concert sponsored by the Dallas County Children&8217;s Policy Council program.

The Christian-based concert will promote sexual abstinence

Abstinence is refraining from vaginal, oral or anal intercourse.

For some people, abstinence means refraining from all forms of erotic behavior.

Not only does abstinence stop pregnancy, but it can protect against sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, HIV, herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis B and hepatitis C and human papilloma virus.

And, the message of this program is that even if a teenager has had sexual intercourse in the past, they still have the right to abstain from it now.

The policy council should be applauded for bringing this much-needed program to our area.