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Troubled by Planned Parenthood Stand

November 16, 1986

In the article, "Teen Sex Education Campaign Launched" (by Beverly Beyette, Oct. 17), Faye Wattleton, the president of Planned Parenthood, states that it is irrational to believe that sexual activity among teens will stop and then describes a new campaign effort to increase the awareness and acquisition of contraceptives. As a pediatrician who works in a low socioeconomic area, it is difficult for me to understand how a rational mind could think that spending $1 million on contraceptive awareness could do anything to the incidence of teen-age pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood has identified the correct target groups--namely teen-agers, parents and the media--but its understanding of the problem is shallow and has resulted in a superficial solution. The teen-agers I see in clinic are not ignorant of contraceptive use but they are ignorant of the value of sex beyond a biological event that brings self-gratification.

Somewhere along the line parents deluded themselves into believing that television, movies, pornographic magazines and the school system were better equipped to teach their children the principles of moral and sexual conduct. Teen-age pregnancy has resulted because these institutions have taken love, commitment and responsibility from the act and reduced it to an animal passion--a mere recreational act.

Let's not sell our children short by spending millions of dollars on contraceptive awareness, but let's take the time to plant principles, morals, and a vision for their future. It is a higher price to pay but what we teach our children now will not only affect them but will influence generations to come.

FRANCES DAVIS MD

Los Angeles

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