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The professionals at health clinics can address the emotional and physical needs of their patients in a straightforward non-judgmental way. They can encourage better parent/teen communication to seek solutions for the reasons the teen feels the need for a sexual relationship. It can be the intervention that prevents that teen from becoming another abortion statistic or entering the welfare rolls as a single parent. This type of counsel is, in fact, required under the provisions of Title X.

The issue should not be viewed as a matter of parental rights or a political battle to be won. It is simply the most compassionate and financially effective way of addressing real and pressing problems of preventative health care in our community. People of good will recognize that while everyone is free to guide their own children, we cannot close the door to a healthful and productive life to teens who, for whatever reason, are not receiving that guidance. A caring community should not abandon teens who are most at risk, those who are already disadvantaged by all the conditions associated with poverty, and dysfunctional or broken families. Those teens must also have access to good counseling and education from professionals they trust, who can help them learn how to make responsible decisions in their lives.

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