“I would like to know how they fool people” begins a paper by 12 year-old Mercedes Eugenia Cardinali in which she questions the prevalent sex-ed programs in Argentina.
In her paper, which won third place in a literary contest in Buenos Aires, Mercedes wondered why children are taught about “methods of abortion and the use of condoms” in schools and why “each Friday or Saturday night, adolescents tend to engage in sexual relations with someone they do not know, making sure a baby is not conceived and trusting completely in contraceptives.” She said such faith in contraception is the “cause of the ignorance inside of each person, since research has shown that these methods are not 100% effective. Whether you believe it or not, they do not protect you from AIDS or from getting pregnant,” she continued.
Referring to abortion, Mercedes wrote that although “for some people it is very easy, after reading a book on the subject I would never do it” because abortion is nothing less than the “killing of a child, because he cannot escape from the womb, and he is much more vulnerable because his body has not yet fully developed.”
The 12-year old Mercedes just finished seventh grade and said that her sole intention in writing the paper was to get people to listen and “reconsider if at one time they thought about using these methods” and to clarify that issues related to sexuality and abortifacient contraceptives should be understood at an early age. “The best thing is to get married with the person you truly love, both for their physical beauty and their way of thinking,” she wrote, so that when “you want to have sexual relations, you can find the person who knows how to say yes at the altar, and then it won’t matter if you get pregnant; rather, you and your spouse will be happy.”