Thursday, July 24, 2008

Congress Majority Plans to Rollback Abstinence Education

A bill that would overturn the abstinence-only sex education policy of the Bush administration may get the push it needs to get out of Congress . . .

-- From "REAL Act Would End Federal ‘Abstinence-Only’ Policy" by Michael Gryboski, Correspondent, 7/17/08

Urge your congressman from Illinois to defeat this bill -- CLICK HERE

The federal government currently allots funding for state sex-education curricula provided that states teach sexual abstinence until marriage. Millions of dollars have gone to states whose curricula take that approach.

The Responsible Education About Life, or REAL Act (H.R. 1653), which is currently parked at the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Health, would make “comprehensive sex education” eligible for federal funding and would allow schools to teach students about condoms and contraceptives alongside abstinence-only curricula.

Though the bill defines abstinence as “the only sure way to avoid pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases,” it would specifically mandate “information about the health benefits and side effects of all contraceptives and barrier methods as a means to reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.”

The bill is an attempt to stop real abstinence from being taught in schools, [according to Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America.]

“Common sense tells us that if you encourage people to do the right thing, they’re more likely to do the right thing, and the same kinds of messages we use for different issues such as smoking – we tell people not to smoke – we expect that that’s going to have positive outcomes, and in fact it does have positive outcomes,” Wright said.

“So it makes sense to use the same kind of messages that have worked on other topics and apply them to this area,” she said.

Wright also questioned the validity of the studies often cited by congressmen who support comprehensive sex education.

“You have to look at who is behind those studies – who actually did the studies – and oftentimes you’ll find that they are people who somehow profit from comprehensive sex education,” she told Cybercast News Service.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.