As a rabbi, I find the reluctance to talk clearly about sex rather odd. In Talmudic tradition, human sexual behavior is discussed with the same unflinching analysis as matters of commerce. It's part of life.
As a teenager, I chose to become a mom. In November, I chose, with the same commitment, to march with other women to support the motion to decriminalize abortion. I want women to be able to seek help openly and without shame. The hypocrisy is killing us.
Abstinence-only programs don't exist "for the kids," or because of risks. They exist almost wholly because Republicans -- and Democrats in Tennessee -- are trying to placate a religious minority, even if it means exposing teens to greater harms.
Policymakers have been ignoring the evidence for far too long, continuing to cultivate a culture of sexually ignorant youth, who lack the knowledge and skills necessary to postpone sex or protect themselves.