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In my view, education is always admirable and certainly works for some people. Both the House and Senate health care reforms have funding for teen-pregnancy prevention, so there’s a fighting chance contraceptive education will indeed be expanded.

In reading this report, however, I sense two bigger issues in play.

One is birth-control fatigue, i.e., weariness of safe-sex messages. Condom fatigue set in with the gay community more than a decade ago, when AIDS stopped being an immediate death sentence. That fatigue apparently has spread, and education — especially aimed at a population where 80 percent think they already have “all the information they need to avoid an unplanned pregnancy — isn’t going to fix the fatigue factor.

Which leads me to my second point: These younger generations are just not as anti-baby as their elders.

They are aware of America’s huge support system for fatherless families, and when you combine that support with babies’ ability to (a) be adorable, (b) convey instant social status (“mother,” “father”) and (c) possibly convert a loving cohabiting relationship into a loving marriage, birth control seems to be something a lot of young people think they can just live without.

Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at