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Letters to the Editor

Readers write about teen pregnancy, war on climate change, the US Embassy in Berlin, and campaign finance law.

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Crucial role for the community in sex education

In response to the June 25 article, "A new focus on teen pregnancy": The article reported that teen pregnancy rates rose by 3 percent in 2006, the first increase since 1991. The verdict is still out as to whether this is a one-year blip or a growing trend throughout the nation.

It should be noted that the role parents play in a teenager's decision cannot be emphasized enough. The entire community – parents, teachers, coaches, and churches – must bring a cohesive and consistent message that encourages teens to not have sex. But if teens are sexually active, they should be fully aware that no form of contraception offers 100 percent protection against pregnancy.

Gary L. Rose, MD
Austin, Texas

President and CEO of the Medical Institute for Sexual Health

In response to the recent article on teen pregnancy: It's fascinating that the press and the authorities in Gloucester, Mass. fall on contraception education as the solution to the problem of 17 teenage girls becoming pregnant. It's mind-boggling. These girls became pregnant because they wanted a baby. Contraceptives could have been available at every Gloucester street corner, and the teenagers would have walked on by. They had no interest.

These are 17 emotionally immature and intellectually wanting teenage girls who became pregnant with strangers because they wanted to. It's difficult to find what the prevention would have been for that.

These teenagers needed more than their community gave, and I reject the notion that money and free contraceptives would be the answers.

Ann L. Yurek
Wilmington, Mass.

Require home economics in school


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