Monday, April 20, 2009

President Obama, Abstinence-only-until-marriage education is wasteful, ineffective, and immoral

On Saturday, President Obama announced that he would ask his department and agency heads this morning for "the painstaking work of examining every program, every entitlement, every dollar of government spending, and asking ourselves: is this program really essential?" He promised that programs that are "wasteful or ineffective" will be eliminated.

So, just in case this isn't on the Acting Secretary of DHHS' list, let me suggest that the three abstinence-only-until-marriage programs be at the top. More than 1.5 billion dollars have been spent on these programs since they were first created. Congress' own study found that these programs have not helped young people abstain from sexual intercourse, and other peer reviewed studies have found that some of the funded programs have actually put young people at risk of not using contraceptive and condoms when they do become sexually involved and increasing the likelihood that they will engage in oral and anal sex. A wasteful and ineffective federal program? You bet.

But also an immoral one that denies young people life saving information, distorts the truth, and leaves the most vulnerable young people without the education and skills they need.

Not only that, but as a state senator, as a US Senator, and as a candidate, the President pledged his support for comprehensive sexuality education that includes helping young people delay getting involved in mature sexual behaviors and provides them with information about pregnancy and STD prevention

Mr. President, you already cut the program in the 2009 budget. I'm praying that as part of this cost-cutting effort you'll recognize it's time to eliminate it completely.

1 comment:

Bruce Chris said...

When two teenagers, myself and the woman I was later to marry, first encountered Sex: We discussed birth control.

This was 1967, but we were both well grounded, with a medical background, and a good sex education.

Will today's teenagers do as well, with "Abstinence Only"? Studies show that far too many have not, and will not.