Thursday, January 17, 2008

If I Moderated a Candidate Debate...

Although I am not a one or two issue voter, I do want a President who supports sexuality education, sexual health services, and sexual rights. And part of my problem in choosing a candidate is that most have avoided directly addressing these issues.

This morning, the Religious Institute sent a questionnaire to the campaign managers of all of the remaining candidates. I’ll post any responses we receive here.

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

“In the United States, almost half of all pregnancies are unintended. Poor women are five times as likely to have an unintended birth, three times as like to have an abortion, and our times as likely to have an unintended pregnancy as women who live at 200% or more of the poverty level. Poor and low income teenagers account for 83% of teen women who have a baby and 85% of unwed teenage parents.

If you are President, what programs and policies would you support to reduce unintended pregnancies in the United States?

Will you lift the Mexico City policy that prohibits U.S. funding of international groups that counsel or advocate about abortion?

Do you support the availability of emergency contraception for poor women and victims of rape and incest?

Do you support the federal abstinence- only-until- marriage education program or comprehensive sexuality education programs that include teaching about abstinence as well as medically accurate information about pregnancy and STD prevention?

HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS is not just an international pandemic, but continues to disproportionally affect people of color and low income communities in the United States. For example, nearly half of all new cases of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. were to African Americans last year, and the number of new cases of HIV infection among teenage men has doubled in the past five years.

What programs and policies do you support to reduce the spread of HIV in the United States?

The current US international AIDS program (PEPFAR) requires that one third of all HIV/AIDS prevention monies go to promote abstinence, although countries around the world and organizations such as the Institute of Medicine and the World Health Organization have said that this restriction interferes with their country’s ability to design population-specific programs. Do you support the bi-partisan Feinstein/Snow legislation to remove this earmark and allow countries local discretion?

LGBT Issues

Legal marriage confers 1,138 federal benefits for married heterosexual couples, than are not available to same sex couples. You have said that you do not support marriage equality. But, do you support laws that allow committed same sex couples rights such as to inherit each other’s money and property, visit each other in the hospital, or parent legally together?

Do you support hate crimes legislation and anti-employment discrimination legislation that is inclusive of gay and lesbian and transgender persons?

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I'll let you know if and when we hear back.

1 comment:

DiscoverUU.com said...

I hope some candidates are courageous enough to answer, though I fear even a liberal two-term president at the end of his/her second term would hesitate to jump into that firestorm. Maybe starting at the local level...?