I am usually what might be termed, ‘a headline peruser of the morning paper.’ It is seldom that I devour an entire article during breakfast. But this morning, February 25, 1991, while glancing over the war news, my eye caught a headline in the London Free Press.
The article read, “School Clinics would give condoms to Teens.” This came under the section headed ‘Health’.
I have to say that I don’t see the connection!
The article explains that within two years London teens may be able to pick up birth control pills and condoms at a high school health centre. The article continues, “While a school clinic’s emphasis would be education about healthy life-style choices…prevention of pregnancy is one very big health issue…”
An education superintendent says that the clinic would distribute birth control and free condoms. She acknowledges that some parents may think such programs promote promiscuity but replies that “a person who reacts that way is reacting without a full deck of cards in his hand. They are reacting to perceptions, not the facts of what lifestyle facilities are about.”
One can’t help wondering if the lady who made this naïve statement is playing with a full deck. Has she never heard of the power of advertising or the lure of suggestion!
Apparently the clinics are to be modeled on those run by the North York Board of Education and the procedure there is summed up in a kind of neat box:
- The clinics are open 52 weeks a year, four hours daily and are accessible from the street.
- Clinics provide free condoms, and birth control tests are carried out for sexually transmitted diseases and counseling
- The board recently installed condom machines in the male and female washrooms in all its secondary schools.
- North York community reaction to the clinics has been low key.
A betrayal of youth
My primary objection is the fact that contraception is morally wrong and so is premarital sex. In providing young people with free condoms, the authorities are encouraging their students to indulge in immoral practices and condoning them. I can’t believe that the majority of parents agree with this procedure. And if they don’t, they should speak up!
However, I decided to approach the mater from what might be termed a ‘practical’ viewpoint. Young people can be given the impression that if they use a condom, they are practicing what is erroneously termed ‘safe sex’. How ‘safe’ is it? Or for that matter, how safe are any contraceptive methods?
It is very interesting that the chief Planned Parenthood ‘think tank’ in the United States, the Guttmacher Institute, has published the results of a comparatively recent research on contraceptive failure.
Method Theory Reality
The Pill 1 % 6%
Condom 2% 14%
Diaphragm 3% 16%
Spermicides 3-8% 26%
Rhythm 2-10% 16%
Sponge 10% 18-28%
I would like to add one more which is not mentioned:
Abstinence 0% 0%
In 1988, Grapevine Publications produced a booklet on the dangers of depending on the use of the condom to avoid sexually transmitted diseases. It is entitled, Don’t be AIDS’ Next Victim. Condoms won’t protect you.
Quoting from the Los Angeles Times (August 1987) regarding some tests done by the Department of Health, the booklet gives the following results:
- Poor test results shocked both condom makers and federal officials. One out of five batches of condoms failed to meet U.S. failure rate is unexpectedly high.
- There are no clinical data supporting the value of condoms in preventing the spread of diseases, including syphilis, herpes, hepatitis B and AIDS.
- Condoms are not ‘safe sex’ according to a government-funded study for condom evaluation.
This same document quotes as follows from the previous U.S. Surgeon General, “When you have sex with someone, you are having sex with everyone they have had sex with in the last ten years, and everyone they and their partners have had sex with in the last ten years.”
In case the reader may think that this is all hot air, I refer them to a story that appeared in the Globe and Mail of March 1, 1991. The writer is Bluma Appel and she is the chairwoman of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research.
As far as I can judge, the object of the article is to frighten the business community into supporting a long-term plan for intense research on AIDS. It is headlined “Why AIDS is bad for business,” and pointed out that “People suffering from terminal diseases cease to be creators or consumers. All they require are medical services that drain the social system.”
Here are some questions the corporations have not asked: How many cars will not be bought because of AIDS deaths? How many steel mills will close? How soon do pensions, already threatened by aging population and a declining birthrate, collapse?”
Perhaps the most terrifying statement in the article is this: “The disease is growing silently, invisibly, exponentially and expensively. For AIDS is no longer a lifestyle disease. It has entered the entire community….”
Then follows a statement which is very relevant to the purpose of my argument.
“But there is an even worse scenario. AIDS attacks the young. Most teenagers now are sexually active with several partners. In a 1988 survey of 38,000 young people from across Canada, Queen’s University found that by grade eleven, 49 per cent of the males and 46 per cent of the females had tried intercourse at least once. AIDS can have a ten-year-plus incubation period and is unknowingly transmitted during this latent span.”
The writer strongly suggests that the business community in union with the government must make the AIDS crisis a priority. I agree in principle.
But what steps will they take?
Will they, like the school boards, flood the society of young people with more free condoms? I fear so in this humanistic and materialistic society. But if that is their ‘solution’ they are simply pouring fuel on the flames. It may be now too late.
If there is a solution, it is a return to the Christian moral teachings of the past. A return to the principle that sex belongs in marriage and not outside it; that premarital sex is morally wrong and an abuse of a God-given gift; that young people are capable of self-control, provided that are given the proper teaching and example by their parents and teachers.
Supplying young people with free condoms is an open invitation to them to engage in premarital and irresponsible sex.
And who are the main victims? You guessed right. It is not the boys.
It is the girls.