by Steven Ertelt
December 2, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading pro-abortion Congressman issued a report on Wednesday claiming that the abstinence education plans funded by the Bush administration teach "false and misleading information."
California Congressman Henry Waxman, a Democrat, said in the report that, "It is absolutely vital that the health education provided to America’s youth be scientifically and medically accurate."
Waxman claims that 11 of the 13 abstinence-only programs his report reviewed "contain errors and distortions" about contraception sexually transmitted diseases, abortions and sexual activity in general.
The congressman blasted the Bush administration for increasing abstinence education funding and using programs with allegedly incorrect information.
"Something is seriously wrong when federal tax dollars are being used to mislead kids about basic health facts," Waxman contended.
However, Dr. Alma Golden of the Department of Health and Human Services said Waxman’s report "misses the boat." She told the Washington Times that the report took facts and figures out of context for the sole purpose of attempting to discredit abstinence education.
Calling such a move "a disservice to our children," Dr. Golden told the Times that studies show "as does my own experience as a pediatrician, that abstinence works."
She said that was especially the case when abstinence education is combined with good parental guidance.
Developers of abstinence education curriculum defended their programs medically accurate and relying on government statistics and information.
Bruce Cook, president and co-founder of Choosing the Best, a program that is used by more than 2,500 school districts nationwide, said his company relies on health studies and other published medical reports.
"[Waxman’s] statements are totally inaccurate as it relates to our program," Cook told the Associated Press.
Libby Gray, director of the Illinois-based Project Reality said the two programs her group put together presents data "compiled by national sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and the American Social Health Association."
"These curricula have been reviewed by physicians and public health professionals and have been found to be statistically and medically accurate," Gray told the Times.
Congress recently approved a spending bill that increases abstinence-only education funding to their highest levels ever.
The final version of the bill approved by both the House and Senate included just over $104 million for the community-based abstinence education grants
That’s a 39% increase beyond the $70 million that was approved in the fiscal year 2004 version of the bill.
The total funding for abstinence programs under the bill rises to $173 million, another record level, with the rest of the funds sent to states in block grants for public abstinence education programs.
A new study by the Heritage Foundation tracked teenagers over four years and compared teens who took an abstinence pledge with those who didn’t.
The study found, after three separate periods of analysis spaced years apart, that pledgers were one-third less likely than non-pledgers to have sex before the age of 18.
The Heritage study also revealed that teens who kept their pledge to abstain from sexual relations were 50% less likely to have out-of-wedlock births than non-pledgers and were less likely to have a sexually transmitted disease.
ACTION: Send your complaints about Waxman’s report to: Congressman Henry Waxman, 2204 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515, (202) 225-3976 (p), (202) 225-4099 (f)
Related web sites:
The Waxman report –
Abstinence Clearinghouse – https://www.abstinence.net