The Score on Reproductive Rights, Stem Cells, and Sex Education [Last Modified on 2006.12.03]
It is imperative that science, logic, and individual civil liberties take precedence over the beliefs of any religious group. To that end, abortion must be left up to the individual woman, stem cell research must be actively funded and pursued, and sex education must be a part of public school curriculums.
Neither the government, nor anyone else, has any business dictating what women can or cannot do with an unborn fetus inside their own bodies. A fetus up to about five months is not viable outside the womb, and is therefore arguably a parasite, existing only on the life of the mother.
Stem cells that are not used for research will eventually decay and be thrown out. In other words, not using them for research that could save lives is wasting them anyway. These cells belong to the parents, and the parents should have the right to designate them to be donated for medical research, in the same manner as organ donor programs.
Birth control is necessary and is the only intelligent, feasible alternative to overpopulation and unwanted pregnancies — which can lead to increases in abortion or to neglected children.
Sex education is necessary to teach teens and young adults how to properly use birth control and disease prevention — the simple reality of the situation, no matter how the Religious Right might pretend differently, is that the human drive to have sex is not going to be overcome, and teens are having sex at younger and younger ages every decade. Educating them is the only way to keep them safe and prevent unwanted pregnancies, because demanding abstinence is tantamount to sticking your head in the sand.
The laws regarding statutory rape — while rightly criminalizing pedophilia — must be carefully reworked in order to allow young couples, who closely straddle the age of majority, to exercise their reproductive rights.