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Discussion Forums
Sex, Contraception, Pregnancy

If you're physically and emotionally mature enough to have sex (that age is different for everyone), and if you truly want to have sex (not peer or partner pressure), then take the next step and have RESPONSIBLE sex. Please use protection for both disease prevention and contraception. Unless you're in a monogamous relationship where you KNOW the other person is disease-free (and it doesn't hurt to ask for a clinic note from your partner), use a condom. Nobody else is going to watch out for your best interests, and some of those pretty words just might be lies.

There's been some propaganda lately that condoms don't really work. That idea is not from medical science. It comes from some people who think that if you believe condoms don't work, then you won't have sex. Why should they even care if you're having sex or not, as long as it's responsible sex? I don't know; maybe they're not getting some themselves. Condoms are actually highly effective protection (though not 100%, of course) against STDs, including HIV.

Unintended pregnancy? Get information and support from people who aren't going to shove their own beliefs down your throat. There's been a lot of propaganda about the physical dangers of abortion, where they don't tell you the rest of the info: that these same health risks are much, much greater with pregnancy and childbirth. Check out the FACTS. Whatever you do with your body should be your own informed choice; it's your body and your life.

—Gail




Facts & Stats



A sexually active teenager who does not use contraceptives has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within one year.



The method most frequently used by teenage women is the pill (44%), followed by the condom (38%).



Emergency contraception, also called the "morning after" pill, prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation, fertilization or implantation. Two doses of hormone pills are taken 12 hours apart, the first within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse.



Every year 3 million teens-about 1 in 4 sexually experienced teens-acquire a sexually transmitted disease (STD).



Each year, almost one million teenage women-10% of all women aged 15-19 and 19% of teens who've had intercourse-become pregnant.



Nearly 4 in 10 teen pregnancies are terminated by abortion. 61% of minors who have abortions do so with at least one parent's knowledge. The great majority of parents support their daughter's decision to have an abortion.



Mifepistone, also known as RU-486, is a drug that has been successfully used for early abortion in Europe for decades. It is now available in the US, successfully ending 91-93% of pregnancies without any surgical procedures. Mifepistone must be taken within the first seven weeks of pregnancy.

--Info from The Alan Guttmacher Institute and Planned Parenthood