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Mahony and School Clinics

November 17, 1986

In condemning school-based clinics Archbishop Mahony has let the official prejudices of his church outweigh the evidence in favor of these clinics. Mahony and his fellow churchmen, including a fair number of Protestants, cling to the view that sexual ignorance and threats of hell fire will preserve the chastity of our young. I would remind them that premarital sex was not invented recently; their preachments have never persuaded.

On the other hand it is an undisputed fact that in countries such as England, the Netherlands, and Sweden, where there is substantial education about human sexuality, where contraceptives are readily available, and where attitudes about sex are more open not only are pregnancy rates of teen-agers much lower but also sexual relations are less frequent.

If the good archbishop and his cohorts really want to see a reduction in the number of children having children, if they really want to see sexual responsibility, let them support not just school clinics but also realistic, honest, open, informed teaching of human sexuality.

C.A. DILLMAN

San Diego

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