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Parents find facts on sexually transmitted diseases, power to speak to teens on Web site

HARRISBURG, Pa. (The Catholic Witness) - Every day, youth are bombarded with misleading, confusing and dangerous messages about sex that can lead to devastating repercussions.

What is the truth about sexually transmitted diseases? What is the link between oral contraceptives and breast cancer? What is the link between abortion and future miscarriages?

A new, life-affirming Web site has been designed to provide parents with accurate reports on these issues so they can share this critical information with their kids.

Developed by Real Alternatives, administrator of the Pa. Department of Public Welfare’s Alternative to Abortion Program, the Web site — — provides dozens of reports on the latest health and medical news concerning young people and their reproductive health.

The Concerned Parents Report also provides free immediate or monthly e-mail updates for those who sign up. The updates contain brief bits of information that subscribers can click on if they want to learn more.

Current reports on the Web site include such headlines as “Parental Involvement Laws Impact Teen Sex,” “Sex in Media Accelerates Sexual Activity,” “Chaste Teens Significantly Less Depressed” and “Increase in Sexual Partners Increases Chances of HPV.”

Dangers of sexual activity

Kevin Bagatta, president and CEO of Real Alternatives, noted in a recent interview with The Catholic Witness that the Concerned Parents Report is designed to arm parents with truths they can present to their children as they see fit.

“What we want to do is get the word out to parents as to what dangers are out there for kids and empower them with that knowledge,” he said.

“There are 26 different sexually transmitted diseases, and many of them can cause death,” Bagatta said. “Parents need to stay informed and see what’s really out there and encourage their kids to live chaste lives.”

The Concerned Parents Report promotes abstinence and chastity in the face of these health risks. It does not advocate for contraception or abortion; in fact, reports on the Web site point to the dangers of both.

The Web site postings come from Real Alternatives staff members who search the Internet and print re-sources for the health and medical information, a great deal of which rarely appears on the evening news or as top stories in newspapers, Bagatta noted.

“This is about the health of children,” he said of the Web site. “I think parents know that these are not the same times that they lived in when they were teenagers. There are a lot of agendas out there and a lot of areas where kids can get into trouble. What we want to do is give parents the information and the facts so they know the dangers that are out there and get practical applications of how to approach this with their children.”

(Jen Reed is the managing editor of The Catholic Witness. Learn more about Real Alternatives at


This story was made available to Catholic Online by permission of The Catholic Witness (, official newspaper of the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA.



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