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U.S. News

Virginia: Planned Parenthood, Church Team Up on Sex Education for Teens

March 12, 2009

Recently, more than 50 adults and teens attended a forum on teen pregnancy at New Light Full Gospel Baptist Church in Virginia Beach. The event featured a speaker from Planned Parenthood -- a provider of sexual health services, sex education, and abortion, and a frequent target of faith-based groups. Yet on this night, all were in agreement that teen pregnancy is both troubling and preventable.

"We come together as a team, working to try to pass down wisdom to the young ladies and young men who are part of this pandemic we call teen pregnancy," church Elder Frankie Fells said in his opening prayer.

Robin Patrick, New Light's Youth Enrichment Program leader, said the goal of the event, titled "Teen Pregnancy: Dreams Deferred," was to provide congregants with information about STD and pregnancy prevention. "I'm not advocating for Planned Parenthood one way or another," she said. "I want people to understand what is out there in the community, what options they have. I want them to have informed choices."

"Teens really want this information from their parents. Parents want to give it. But it's really scary -- they're afraid what they say may be misinterpreted," said Planned Parenthood speaker Margie Rashti.

According to Rashti, providing places or programs for sharing concerns about sex is beneficial to everyone in the community. "We need that social, religious, and emotional help to give our teenagers the information that will protect them," she said.

A survey of teens and adults found no one critical of Rashti's presentation or the propriety of discussing sexual topics in a church. "It's better to talk about in the house of God than to have [teens] talk about it with somebody on the street," said Fells.

Back to other news for March 2009

Adapted from:
Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk)
03.09.2009; Steven G. Vegh

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More on HIV Prevention in Young People


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