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June 16, 2015


Advocating for Heritage Community Services is fun, because I get to talk to parents and other adults about the benefits of abstinence-until-marriage education and its impact on the formation of healthy families.




Most have never known a day without the promotion of sex education and family planning in our culture and want to know if abstinence education can work for their kids.


Many are shocked to find out that almost 75% of teens (15-17) (CDC Table 1) have not had sex. And, they are equally surprised to learn that abstinence-until-marriage is not just for virgins. It's just as beneficial for teens who may have had or "will have sex anyway." Teens should not be herded to "safe sex-only" classes where they will never hear a compelling abstinence-until-marriage message.


In real life, many sexually experienced teens (and adults) choose later to be abstinent and wait for someone interested in a life-long marriage. They have been there, done that! Now, they want better.


Recently, a lady proudly told me, "I haven't had sex since I got pregnant at 16 with my 4 year old son. I decided to focus on him and wait for marriage before having sex again." This amazing single mom is a perfect example of someone who decided to return to abstinence until marriage to pursue her goals.


There are legitimate concerns, however, for students who are sexually active or will "have sex anyway." Abstinence Education providers should address this in a way that gives students the option to change their minds about sex. There is a glut of information in our culture about condoms and contraception, but a scarcity of information about the benefits of abstinence and marriage. If your teens take sex education, it should promote the highest standards of behavior that will help them succeed in life.


Not only do Heritage Keepers® Educators not judge or shame students, they do not know their sexual status. Besides, there are various reasons why someone has been or will be sexually experienced. While most may have sex voluntarily, some are forced to have sex, have had sex only one time, with only one person, or with multiple partners. Regardless, every student deserves to be informed about the benefits of abstinence-until-marriage.


Anne Badgley, the Founder and President of Heritage Keepers®, started and directed a Pregnancy Care Center for an entire decade prior to developing the abstinence program. All of the Pregnancy Center clients were sexually active! As such, Heritage Keepers® is based on real life experience and felt compassion for sexually active teens and those who will be sexually active and become parents within just a few short years. This is why Heritage Keepers® intentionally teaches students the medically accurate and age appropriate scientific information and life skills they need to abstain, plan for the future, and reach their goals.


This approach over the past twenty-years is why 95% of Heritage Keepers® students surveyed say that they would recommend the program to their friends. Students often say that our teachers really care about them, their goals for the future, and want the very best for their future families. They tell us this is the first time any program has ever taught them that they did not have to have sex and the life skills to abstain. Some get excited about becoming the first in their family to finish college, get married, and have their children within marriage.


Heritage Keepers® students are equipped with options and a life-script that has been proven to work. They have hope for the future.  


Mary McLellan, M.S., Advocacy/Adult Education
Healthy Family Formation Coalition
A Social Networking Component of Heritage Community Services


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