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Idea#213

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Issues: Domestic »

Abstinence-Only Programs

Every day in the U.S. 10,000 young people get an STD, 2,400 become pregnanct, and 55 contract HIV. The Bush administration has pushed abstinence-only sex education programs that prohibit information about condoms and birth control. Why are you on record supporting Chairman David Obey's continued funding for these programs when your own congressional evaluation showed they have "no impact on teen behavior" and a report by Congressman Waxman showed that 80% of abstinence-only curricula contian "false or misleading" information. What possible rationale could exist for the Democratic congressional leadership promoting ignorance in the era of AIDS?

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Submitted by james 5 years ago

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Comments (10)

  1. We can't have meaningful discussion in this country about wasted govt monies, effects of population on environment/global warming, health safety of our young people, reducing unintended pregnancies, equality, women's rights, and the future of our country, without aggessively addressing the wasteful, non science based, illogical, and now proven to be ineffecitve govt funding of "abstinence only programs."

    5 years ago
  2. For the past 25 to 30 years, teen pregnancy rate in the US has either declined or stayed the same. Now for the first time the teen pregnancy rate has gone up and those getting pregnant are younger and more likely to have premature, low-weight babies. Do you think this could have anything to do with Bush's 8 years of abstinence-only education? Connect the dots.

    5 years ago
  3. I hate to bring this up again BUT this is a Religious Right issue and it's their agenda that keeps creeping up in our government issues.

    They are the ones who keep forcing their religious beliefs in our faces. And if Nancy Pelosi is agreeing with this, or any other Senator it's because the Right Wing have them in their pocket!

    5 years ago
  4. It Is the Religious Right, and it is also a Republican "wedge" issue that they believe belongs in the category with abortion, which is also nothing but a wedge issue. Most people in this country believe reliable information and access should be the norm. People in other countries are aghast that the U.S. has fallen into such a trap.

    5 years ago
  5. I know from personal experience at the state level that the abstinence-only funding is used to support religious right political activity at the local level. Why do the Democrats continue to fund their opposition under the guise of programs that are proven to be ineffective? It is such a waste of tax money, harms teenagers, and fuels opposition to Democratic ideals. It makes no sense; please explain.

    5 years ago
  6. We do a great disservice to adolescents in this country by supporting programs that provide false or misleading information. To truly assist teens, we need to offer factual information on both abstinence and contraception. These programs are proven effective and have been rigorously tested over and over again. Programs like Wise Guys are what we should be funding, not programs that spread lies and harm our teens.

    5 years ago
  7. the simple solution to end the Abby Flabby spending is to rewrite the rule regarding the use of the funds to be life long reproductive health education funding- that stresses age appropriate education with a strong comprehensive balance of sexual health facts . We all forget that abstinence is part of the continuum of effective sexual health activities and education- is it really appropriate for a 4th, 5th, or 6th grader to be engaging in sex? NO. so they need to be encouraged to be abstaining from sex until physically and mentally ready to have sex with an active and complete knowledge of how to protect them selves...that said it is totally inappropriate for abstinence to be he focus of late middle school or Junior high curricula, it needs to one of the many options presented to young people along with strong decision making skills, birth control education, universal safer safe precautions and life long sexual health information. The current abstinence funding amounts would do a wonderful amount of good if the rules were adjusted to function in the real world- removing the marriage act language(which is useless and discriminatory) and making sure that age appropriate comprehensive education is used (comprehensive means all from Abstinence to birth control to healthy sexuality)-- So lets meet int he middle adjust the language and get funding out there to provide healthy correct and appropriate sexual health education materials to US youth .

    5 years ago
  8. Not all parents think that abstinence until marriage is a good idea. Schools should be teaching facts, and teens should be encouraged to talk to their parents to learn their values. Even the 5% of us who practice abstinence until marriage need to learn about birth control because most married couples use birth control.

    5 years ago
  9. If a teenager decides to wait, they aren't going to do it because a teacher told them so. And if they decide not to wait, they need to know better than to cross their fingers and hope. This is a public health issue, as they noted at Alternet, and it's important that young people have accurate information about their bodies and sexual health. Via Alternet, re Texas, the home of abstinence-only education:

    - In Texas, 220 teen women aged 15 to 19 become pregnant every single day.

    - Texas's teen pregnancy rate is 101 per 1,000. The national rate is 84. Only MS, NM, AZ, and NV have higher rates.

    - Texas has the worst teen birth rate among 15 to 19 year olds at 64 per 1,000. The national rate is 41 per 1,000.

    - The teen birth rate in Texas for 15-19-year olds only dropped by 18% between 1992-2000 while the national rate dropped by 24 percent. - Texas ranks 4th worst in decline, after WY, NE, and ND.

    - Texas has 7th worst syphilis rate and 17th worst gonorrhea rate in the country.

    - Among states with available data, Texas has the lowest percentage of teens that report using condoms at last sex (56 percent; HI and NM were lower).

    5 years ago
  10. As a health educator for a teen pregnancy prevention program, I have seen the damage that the federal government is condoning with their "abstinence only" funding.

    Each year teen childbearing costs the US taxpayers $9.1 BILLION. The monetary cost of STIs among teens is unknown, but direct costs of curable STIs among all sexually active Americans have been estimated at $8.4 BILLION per year. Over $1.1 Billion is spent each year by the federal government to fund "abstinence-only" programs.

    Each year over 800,000 young women become pregnant. Most of them unmarried teens between ages 13-19. This number is increasing steadily since Mr. Bush's wonderful eight years of ignorant bliss.

    Now is the time to read the research that our own government required the CDC to conduct. The results are in and abstinence only is OUT. We need to provide information on abstinence AS WELL AS information about condoms and other contraceptive. We must give our teens accurate, COMPLETE, and honest information. We cannot allow, not for one more minute, our youth to be lied to when it comes to matters of sexuality and sexual health.

    We cannot lie to our young people , then expect them to trust us to give them information concerning sex.

    At the same time, we cannot expect the lies that have been perpetuated through generations (i.e. "You can't get pregnant the first time."- sound familiar? It was a lie 40 years ago, too.) to be replaced with accurate information unless we acknowledge that our young people need information to eliminate barriers in remaining abstinent and using condoms or other forms of contraception- as well as the rick and protective factors that affect their sexual behaviors.

    Parents who want to protect their children from the hazards in life need to discuss sexuality and sexual responsibility just as openly as they talk to them about not talking to strangers as a small child, the responsibility and safety of driving, seatbelt safety, etc.

    We cannot depend wholly on the federal governmentto provide our youth with this information. We cannot trust them to provide us with the truth about so many other matters...why rely on them now?

    Tell the federal officials that WE---THE PEOPLE---demand the truth and the financial means to pass that truth on to our youth. The lies have been funded long enough and our children are suffering because too many people who call themselves christians don't realize that lying to them is as much a "sin" as sex before marriage.

    We just want these young people to reach adulthood with their physical and moral integrity intact. We don't believe they shold be having sex, but having babies and diseases that could have been prevented by providing COMPLETE and ACCURATE information is far worse.

    5 years ago