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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Young Women and Cervical Cancer

In the past three years, I have met three young women with cervical cancer. These women are all in their twenties. Approximately 20 million people are currently infected with the Human papillomavirus and 10 of the 30 identified genital HPV types can lead to the development of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is supposed to be a rare occurrence but the three women I've recently met would lead me to believe otherwise. One of these women was under the "care" of Planned Parenthood for birth control. I don't know about the other two. So much for birth control preventing the spread of STD's!

My question is directed to parents of young girls. Are we really doing our girls a favor by allowing them to date at age 12 or 13? Are three or four more years of sexaul experiences a benefit or a hazzard? What about the maturity level of a 12 year old when it comes to sound decision making? When I was a teenager the rule was no dating until you are sixteen. Other parents had similar rules for their daughters. I set the same rule for my four daughters and was informed by each of them that they were the only ones in the school (a small Caatholic school) who had such a rule. The mother who took her daughter to Planned Parenthood for birth control and now faces losing that daughter to cervical cancer probably wishes she did things differently.

There are resources for parents who want to encourage their children to practice abstinence. A good start is a pamphlet series by Heritage House on sexually transmitted diseases. Contact Heritage House at 1-800-858-3040 to order. Request a catalog as they have other abstinence resoures.

Please pray for these young women and their babies.

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