And this is why effective sex education and widespread access to birth control are overriding moral issue:
Nationally, the teenage birth rate fell 30 percent from 1991 to 2002, the most recent year for which such statistics are available.
If the rate had not dropped during the decade, 1.2 million more children would have been born to teenage mothers in the United States. Of those, 460,000 would have been living in poverty and 700,000 would have grown up in a single-parent household, according to the analysis.
460,000. Children. In. Poverty. That's a lot of misery and pain we've prevented, not to mention hundreds of millions of dollars saved in emergency room visits and social programs and, frankly, crime prevention. This impoverished children would be the ones on the public dole and, for many of them, the ones in the public jails. We know that. Keeping young women from getting pregnant is one of the most cost-effective approaches to poverty-reduction, so what a shame that we're moving more in the direction of "pregnancy can be transmitted through sweat and tears" than "speak to your pharmacist about the pill".