Every year, their promotions are more outrageous, but the basic message is the same. This year, the Department of Public Health of the City of Toronto (Family Planning Division) is giving away 10,000 condoms during Birth Control Week.
Their programmers are aimed mainly at teens, despite the fact that the 20-24 year group has the highest abortion rates. They cite teenage pregnancies as problems, including 18-and 19-year-olds who are pregnant and married to partners beyond their teens. Band-Aid promotion despite the fact that in Ontario millions of dollars have been put into the programmers since 1975 ($5.1 million in 1982) and the problems continue to escalate. They decry the escalating abortion rates (many for the birth control failure) but they refer their clients to abortion clinics. The message and the programmers never change. With predictable tunnel vision, the Department of Public Health provides contraceptives and assurance of confidentiality from parents.
Parents for Responsible Education and Family Health have pointed out that the birth control methods have built-in failure rates, and the failures are highest among first-time users. Furthermore, out-of-wedlock pregnancies are often wanted pregnancies. The promotion of birth control will not stop them.
The simplistic quasi-solutions of the Department of Public Health do not address the basic problems. Ignoring these problems will ensure a further escalation of out-of- wedlock pregnancies, abortions and sexually transmitted diseases for which the Department of Health will be glad to provide a medical fix.