“Placing politics before public health and ideology over science have now become bipartisan follies,” according to James Wagoner. With a $28 million increase, the federal budget for abstinence-only programs will reach $141 million next year, crushing hopes that comprehensive, medically accurate sex ed would become the standard. With the Democrats in control of Congress, was this too much to ask for?
Apparently it is…
Despite the studies that show abstinence-only programs have “no impact on adolescent behavior,” “threaten fundamental human rights to health, information and life,”and “contain false or misleading information,” both Republican AND Democratic leadership frivolously waste tax-payers money and endanger the lives of youth by supporting these failed programs.
While 13 states have rejected this money, Arlen Specter has turned Pennsylvania into “the abstinence-earmark capital of the country, directing more than $8 million (over $1 million this year alone) into dozens of programs.” According to Scott Hoeflich, the senator’s chief of staff, Specter views the abstinence earmarks as a response to “a significant segment of his constituency, which he believes is entitled to implement programs most consistent with their values.” We can only assume, however, that these earmarks help to keep his conservative supporters happy.
In a call to arms, Advocates for Youth demands that we start holding our pro-choice Democratic leadership accountable “for what they have done to undermine the health and safety of young people in this country.” The time has come to denounce the continued bipartisan support of abstinence-only program funding by its true title: “A stunning disgrace.”
Stephanie Chando, Duvall Project Intern