Abstinence Education Groups Continue to Defend Programs From Attack

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 3, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abstinence Education Groups Continue to Defend Programs From Attack Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 3, 2004

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Abstinence education groups are still working overtime to rebut the myths they say are associated with a report released by a pro-abortion congressman accusing them of using misleading stats and information.

California Congressman Henry Waxman, a pro-abortion Democrat, issued a report on Wednesday claiming that the abstinence education plans funded by the Bush administration teach "false and misleading information."

According to Waxman, 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.

Linda Klepacki, a sexual health analyst for Focus on the Family, read Waxman’s report and said it should be dismissed as a political statement because he "is a vocal proponent of more federal dollars being spent on condom-distribution programs."

Libby Gray, Director of Project Reality, an abstinence education group, says part of the motivation for Waxman’s report is because the percentage of government funding of sex-ed programs is gradually shifting to abstinence-only programs from curriculum that teaches abstinence and so-called "safe sex."

"It’s no secret that sex education groups who opposed President Bush’s support of increased funding for abstinence programs are upset by the irrefutable fact that abstinence is the safest, healthiest lifestyle for teens." Gray said.

"If indeed our young people choose abstinence as the healthiest lifestyle, there would be no need for all those programs that exist to repair the damage caused by adolescents being sexually involved," Gray explained.

Meanwhile, a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services, which awards abstinence grants to states and local programs, discounts the Waxman report as "political."

"These issues have been raised before and discredited," says Alma Golden, MD, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs.

"One thing is very clear for our children, abstaining from sex is the most effective means of preventing the sexual transmission of HIV, STDs and preventing pregnancy and the emotional, social and educational consequences of teen sexual activity," Dr. Golden said.

For Dr. Joe McIlhaney of the Medical Institute for Sexual Health, the key fact in the debate about abstinence is that teen pregnancy numbers are on the decline.

"With the drop we have seen in teenage pregnancy in the last three years, it is obvious after years of being unable to move the teen pregnancy numbers – we have finally begun to move in the right direction," Dr. McIlhaney said.

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 –
Project Reality – https://www.projectreality.org
Medical Institute for Sexual Health – https://medinstitute.org