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The teenage pregnancy rate has been on the increase recently, and despite continuous efforts to encourage teenagers to delay having sex, teen pregnancy appears to be more socially acceptable now then even before. Whether this is because of celebrity teen pregnancies, as many speculate, is not clear and not really relevant either. The Obama administration has been wanting to launch a program to bring down the rate of teenagers who conceive babies, but also vowed to only spend money on efforts that are actually effective. The latest plan is to offer sex education to teenagers. That doesn't sound all that radical, does it?

Well, the Obama administration has decided to spend a grand total of $110 million on various programs, all with the same aim. As a result of these programs, American teenagers will learn about the many risks of having unprotected sex, about sexually transmittable diseases and STD testing, and about contraception. Apart from this factual information, special programs will be launched with the particular aim of encouraging teenagers to wait with sex.

As someone who lived in Europe for most of my life, I have to say that this sounds totally bland and normal to me, and that it is obvious that every young person should be taught about reproductive health. For many Americans, though, the whole issue is one that is extremely controversial. Some are already calling Obama's new programs politically divisive. Why? Apparently, because sex education is somehow linked to abortion. Personally, I disagree. Adequate knowledge (which I thought was pretty universal in this day and age anyway, but it seems I am wrong!) would go a long way to prevent unwanted pregnancies and thereby, it would also logically bring down the number of abortions. Perhaps it's time for conservative Republicans to let this one go. It seems that their own children (Bristol Palin comes to mind!) could also benefit from such programs. Meanwhile in the UK, authorities are taking things a step further! Plans were formulated for schools to run prenatal clinics over there.

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