Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Abstinence Is Back

In all the hoo-haw over abortion coverage in the seemingly endless debate over healthcare reform in the US, something slipped under the radar.

Remember back in May when sensible people celebrated Obama's axing of the totally useless abstinence-only sex ed?

Well, it's baaaaaack.
A little-noticed provision of the health legislation has rescued federal support for a controversial form of sex education: teaching youths to remain virgins until marriage.

The bill restores $250 million over five years for states to sponsor programs aimed at preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases by focusing exclusively on encouraging children and adolescents to avoid sex. The funding provides at least a partial reprieve for the approach, which faced losing all federal support under President Obama's first two budgets.

"We're very happy to see that funding will continue so the important sexual health message of risk avoidance will reach American teens," said Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association, a Washington-based lobbying group. "What better place to see such an important health issue addressed than in the health legislation?"

But the funding was condemned by critics, who were stupefied by the eleventh-hour rescue.

"To spend a quarter-billion dollars on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that have already been proven to fail is reckless and irresponsible," said James Wagoner of the Washington group Advocates for Youth. "When on top of that you add the fact that this puts the health and lives of young people at risk, this becomes outrageous."

Just one more little way that reproductive health in general and women's rights in particular suffer when the angry white men stomp their little feet and threaten to hold their breath.

Charming, isn't it?


chris said...

Laugh with Driftglass. Sometimes it's all I can do.

chris said...


fern hill said...

chris: funny. Here it is clickable.

chris said...

Mad HTML skillz? I has none.

fern hill said...

Is simple, chris.

Before the http bit, type <a href="

no space then http, then after link no space and type </a>

Presto. Mad skillz.

Anonymous said...

Condoms, condoms, condoms, the solution to the world's problems...

abstinance works.


Anonymous said...

you wimps have moderation turned on. protect the echo chamber.


fern hill said...

Oh, look, Jasper's back. Yes, it's true, abstinence -- even misspelled -- works. It is abstinence-only sex ed that does not work. I'd provide links, but you wouldn't read them or if you did, believe them because the evidence is sciencey-facty-researchy stuff.

And how we run our blog is our business.

deBeauxOs said...

fern hill, it must have been the word 'abstinence' that got his attention.

I'd bet he's familiar with the notion, and not necessarily because it's a choice.

chris said...

Thanks, Fern, I know. I suspect an evil...typo.

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