Unintended pregnancy a ‘huge’ issue for LGBT youth


The conventional wisdom is that lesbians and gay men don’t have to worry about facing an unexpected pregnancy. Or do they?

After more than 42 years in pro-life work, I continue to learn new information that has the ability to stun.

This was one of those times.

Our friends at Life Site News recently reported on this phenomenon and at first I was skeptical. As I conducted an independent search of the evidence, I was genuinely astonished.

However, it is a well-known problem in the gay community. Erin Wilkins, with Family Tree Clinic, a community sexual health clinic in St. Paul, Minn., said “Unintended pregnancy is huge in the LGBT youth world.”

Studies show that self-identified gay, lesbian and bisexual teens are two to seven times more likely to experience an unexpected pregnancy than heterosexual teens. This is true with both females and males.

Research shows that women who self-identify as lesbian or bisexual have a higher rate of sexual contact with males than heterosexual females. The New York City Youth Risk Behavior Surveys of 2005 and 2007 found that two out of three youth with same-sex partners also engaged in sex with opposite-sex partners.

Most of the studies have these similar findings in common: Non-heterosexual youth become sexually active earlier, have multiple sexual partners, use drugs and alcohol before sex, are more likely to be involved with prostitution and more likely to choose abortion.

Basic questions come to mind. Are these pregnancies intentional? If so, what is the motivation behind them?

Several researchers believe it’s a lack of sex education among “sexual minorities” and feel more must be done to accommodate them. However, it’s hard to believe that gay, lesbian and bisexual youth are being excluded from sex education programs available to millions of teens.

A better answer can be found in their own research. These teens are more sexually promiscuous and engage in higher-risk behavior.

Sadly, the government’s answer is to throw tax dollars at the problem. Not only is this problematic, it’s the direction in which they are throwing our money. The Office of Adolescent Health gave a grant of $18.75 million to Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands to in-part “reduce pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth . . .”

Planned Parenthood, notorious for promoting excessive sexual activity among teens both in and outside of the gay community, was assigned the task of fixing things.

Why is all this information important to the pro-life movement?

Non-heterosexual teens, men and women who experience unexpected pregnancies may seek out pregnancy resource centers to help them cope. How will these pro-life centers and clinics respond?

Jor-El Godsey

Jor-El Godsey is president of Heartbeat International, an umbrella group working with pro-life pregnancy centers and clinics throughout the world. While the recently-reported statistics were new to Jor-El, the idea of lesbians presenting at their facilities is not. He said, “Pregnancy centers have been serving lesbian couples for years. We firmly believe that every woman should be loved and supported during her pregnancy. Research reveals that same-sex marriages exhibit greater levels of instability. This makes every same-sex pregnancy at-risk for abortion. No baby’s value is diminished regardless of the circumstances.”

Those who have already chosen abortion will need our help. I am certain that I speak for my colleagues who also counsel men after losing a child to abortion. If a gay or bisexual man presented for counseling, he would be welcome and treated like any other grieving father. His pain is as real as his baby’s brief life.

Pro-life preemptive educational information can and should be targeted to gay, lesbian and bisexual youth.

The frequent assumption is that sexual orientation is determined at birth and nothing can be done to change it. Some states like California have even made it illegal to counsel gay individuals who want to leave the homosexual lifestyle. The evidence within this convincing body of research suggests there is no sexual absolute when it comes to being lesbian or gay.

While this reality – new to many outside the gay community – has potential to change the political narrative, it hasn’t altered the time-honored practice of the pro-life movement helping others in need when facing an unplanned pregnancy.

Please don’t mistake advocacy for reaching out as condoning an alternate lifestyle. Nearly all of the people who face unexpected pregnancies have made poor sexual choices.

You and I must continually engage everyone to change their hearts and minds on abortion, regardless of their race, religion, no religion or sexual practices.

Our pledge to defend the most vulnerable and defenseless in society holds no exceptions. As Jor-El so aptly said, we are here to serve and love them while saving their babies. If you doubt that, look to the example of Christ.

Bradley Mattes
President, Life Issues Institute

Life Issues Institute is dedicated to changing hearts and minds of millions of people through education. For 25 years, organizations and individuals around the world have depended upon Life Issues Institute to provide the latest information and effective tools to protect innocent human life from womb to tomb.

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