The article "Nonmarital Births: As Rates Soar, Theories Abound" {news story, Jan. 22} presents some excellent demographic data but raises more questions than it answers.

Paul Taylor reports a number of theories on the cause of the increase in nonmarital births. Some would support government intervention as a response. Quite frankly, legislative and judicial meddling with the family is precisely why births to the unmarried have escalated dramatically. The chronology supports this conclusion:

In the late '60s, for the first time, the federal government dove into the "family planning" business through taxpayer funding of artificial birth control. In so doing, it provided a governmental seal of approval for premarital promiscuity.

The U.S. Supreme Court added fuel to the fire in 1972 when it declared in Eisenstadt v. Baird that unmarried persons had a right to artificial birth control. The following year the court added the fallback right to unlimited abortion-on-demand in case of contraceptive failure.

Apparently the cause of social supervisors' hand-wringing is not that premarital and extramarital promiscuity is increasing, nor that there is an extraordinary increase in out-of-wedlock pregnancy, but that single mothers are actually keeping their babies rather than killing them.

Might I suggest the solution is not more governmental intervention, but less. Let's not undermine families by declaring unlimited rights for minors, but strengthen it by reinforcing parental authority -- including the right of parents to be the primary sex and moral educators of their children.

Let's not expand taxpayer financing of amoral sex education, school-based sex clinics and the wholesale distribution of artificial birth control drugs and devices. Instead, let's eliminate it. By eliminating the open-air drug markets, which enable promiscuity, we can encourage our youth to rely on family guidance.

Let's not emasculate unwed fathers by requiring their absence for Aid to Families with Dependent Children assistance, but encourage their supportive presence. JUDIE BROWN President, American Life League Stafford