Rebecca Mercier: Sex ed for health

November 22, 2012 

Sex ed for health

As a North Carolina ob-gyn, I applaud the recent drop in our state’s teen pregnancy rate. I have many teenage patients, and I have seen how the state’s revamped sex education programs help young people make healthy decisions about their futures (“Progress on teen pregnancy,” Nov. 19 editorial).

Recently, I saw a 17-year-old who came to me for birth control before starting college in the fall. She plans to go to medical school and doesn’t want her dream to be derailed by an unintended pregnancy. Through North Carolina’s school-based sex-education programs, teenagers receive the information they need to make healthy decisions and protect their futures. This is a dramatic change from the abstinence-only approach that was in place prior to 2009.

We must continue our state’s commitment to sex education that includes contraception and disease prevention. Our young people deserve the opportunity to stay healthy and strong, for their sake and North Carolina’s.

Rebecca Mercier, M.D.

UNC-Chapel Hill

Carrboro

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