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New Mexico Health Official Ousted for Being Responsible

New Mexico Health Official Ousted for Being Responsible

I’m going to say something that you might not want to hear: sometimes teenagers have sex. Not all the time, but you know how it is.

I get it. Thinking about your darling little snowflake getting his or her freak on can be uncomfortable, but ignoring one of the most basic facets of human existence is, to say the least, ineffective.

That’s why it’s such a pleasure to hear an actual, real-life grown-up adult discussing teenage sexuality in a responsible way. A public official, no less! It’s like spotting a yeti.

New Mexico Chief Medical Officer Erin Bouquin gave a television interview in which she was asked about the 50% increase(!) of gonorrhea and chlamydia in the state’s teenage population. When asked what message Bouquin would like impart to the youth, she said that the use of condoms would slow the spread of STDs. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican:

“Use condoms. Condoms are very very important in controlling sexually transmitted diseases,” Bouquin answered. She also noted what she called “the ABCs” — abstinence, be faithful and birth control.

Yes. True. There can’t be any way that this goes poorly for her. Oh wait! She was asked to resign.

I didn’t see that coming. And by “didn’t see,” I mean “could see for miles.”

You see, Bouquin mentioned condoms and how condoms can be an effective tool in maintaining the public health, but that means acknowledging that adolescents have sexual urges and might sometimes act on those urges. Oh no!

The day the interview aired, the now former Chief Medical Officer was asked to resign because she had not “met the expectations of the governor.” What are those expectations? Given that New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is said to favor abstinence-only education, I’d guess that the aforementioned expectations might include ignoring reality.

You see, abstinence-only education doesn’t lead to abstinent behavior. States that favor abstinence-only have higher rates of teen pregnancy and birth than states with comprehensive sex education. Bouquin’s comments were sensible and responsible.

Which is why it’s so sad that her fate is not even a little surprising.

Related posts:

Wisconsin Votes for Abstinence-Only Education, Against Insurance Covering Abortions

Abstinence-Only: It’s Baaack

Why Abstinence-Only Sex Education Still Doesn’t Work

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37 comments

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8:24PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

This points up one of the great fallacies in our children's educations. Teenagers WILL have sex -- not every time they are together, but the hormones are raging at that age! Best to help them know of safe sex, rather than risking disease and pregnancy. SAYING abstinence, doesn't make it happen -- it's like having blinders on, or living in Fantasy Land. And true, the states with abstinence only education, have higher STDs and pregnancies among teenagers. Mine, Texas, is one of them. Teach your children to be thoughtful, and also to be SAFE (just in case!) So sorry to lose a smart and sensible person, who could have had a positive impact on children.

3:56AM PDT on May 31, 2012

A class in RESPECT AND RESPONSIBILITY should be taught from Grade one to graduation. Children should be taught that anything is permissible as long as it does not hurt themselves or anyone else. If children are taught at a very early age that every child has their own strengths and weaknesses and that they should use their strengths to help others not to tease or bully them.
It should not matter if a child comes from a FAMILY of a mother and father, 2 mothers or 2 fathers or a single mother or father as long as they are LOVED.
Sex Education should be taught on LGBT, Contraceptives, Masturbation, Pregnancy and all forms of sex. Let us face it whether we like it or not children are curious and are having sex earlier. Children should be taught the JOYS and the CONSEQUENCES of having sex ( Pregnancy, STD, AIDS and others.) I believe this is a solution. Stopping the damage before it starts so that Bullying, Sexual Assault, and many others will be greatly diminished if not eradicated. It is my belief that when children graduate with these principles where they are taught RESPECT for themselves and others and to take RESPONSIBILITY for their actions. If children grow up with these values, I believe business and government would benefit greatly. Within a few generations this world would be a much better place to live in.

3:02AM PDT on May 31, 2012

Unfortunately, the only way a Pope can be fired is if he dies...

2:47AM PDT on May 31, 2012

Maybe we should fire the Pope at the same time............

12:37AM PDT on May 31, 2012

If the Conservatives are so worried that in 50 years America won't have a white majority, WHY, then, are they punishing everyone, including the white women who need to know all their options to be healthy and protected?

10:59PM PDT on May 30, 2012

Once again religion hinders the legitimate functions of government! When are we going to start observing the rules of our own constitution??
Of course, there's another factor: most teenagers know full well what the function of a condom is, but teenage girls don't want to disenchant their selfish boyfriends who don't like to use condoms!

4:01PM PDT on May 30, 2012

I am starting to think that they want everyone to catch diseases as punishments??? Eventually that will come home to the innocent who did not know they had a cheating spouse or be passed on to a baby these same nutters pretend to care so much about.

3:17PM PDT on May 30, 2012

The fact that more and more people are being fired for telling the truth about protection and teenagers is sick. Do these Conservitives want kids to keep having babies?

1:57PM PDT on May 30, 2012

Apparently you do not have to pass an intelligence test to become the governor of New Mexico! ;-)

1:55PM PDT on May 30, 2012

Well said, Beverly!

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