To the people of North Dakota who believe in abstinence only sex education, I’d like you to know about the 1,560 children who are currently in our foster care system. These are children who receive the message loudly that North Dakota doesn’t care about them one iota (as demonstrated by lack of services).

These are kids who have been tossed aside by so many adults that they don’t believe anything you or I have to say. These are the kids who do their artwork by smearing feces on the walls, stealing money and electronics, and hoard food. They have mental health problems and trust no one.

They often have sexual behavior long before you even knew what sexuality meant. So, for you to stand where you are and tell educators to just tell them to wait (for sex) until marriage is the most absurd thing I have ever heard. Why don’t you also tell them to eat their vegetables while you’re waving that magic wand?

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Just so you know, these kids hang out with ours. They talk about sex. They’re curious. I’m all for teaching abstinence, but I’m also for teaching truths. Two-thirds of them will have sexual encounters before they graduate. Some will have a lifetime STD sentence. Some will learn about contraceptives and the cycle of trauma and abuse will lessen.

If you really want to make a difference, stop with the preaching and go home today with one of the 800 kids that need a home. And then let’s revisit the abstinence conversation, from the pharmacy.