Abstinence Education Programs Should Get Review Senator Frist Says

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 5, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abstinence Education Programs Should Get Review Senator Frist Says Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 5, 2004

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — On the heels of a much-criticized report issued by a leading opponent of abstinence education programs, Senator Majority Bill Frist says he thinks federal funding for such initiatives should be reviewed.

In an interview on Sunday on ABC’s "This Week” program," Frist did not address the complaints issued in a report written by the office of pro-abortion Congressman Henry Waxman, a California Democrat.

He did, however, say federally funded abstinence programs should be reviewed.

"Of course they should be reviewed,” Frist said. "That’s in part our responsibility to make sure that all of these programs are reviewed.”

"Whether it’s abstinence or whether it’s a condom or whether it is better education on the infectivity of how washing hands in terms of the flu, all of these are public health challenges that we need in terms of better education," Frist said on the ABC television show.

Frist also said he backs President Bush’s pro-abstinence approach to sexual education.

In an October speech to the United Nations General Assembly, U.S. Ambassador Sichan Siv encouraged member nations to promote abstinence to combat the growing threat of the AIDS virus.

"The promotion of behavior change — encouraging abstinence and fidelity — is integral to our fight against HIV/AIDS," Siv said.

California Congressman Henry Waxman, a Democrat, released the report Wednesday contending that the abstinence education plans funded by the Bush administration teach "false and misleading information."

However, Kimberly Martinez, executive director of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, says the medical information used by abstinence only education programs, "are medically referenced back to peer-reviewed journals, and other reputable sources, such as the CDC or NIH."

Martinez also questioned a statement early in the Waxman report claiming a "scarcity" of programs that teach contraception and sex to children and teens.

"This type of contraceptive sex education has been in schools for more than 30 years," clarified Martinez. "In fact in 2002, the Kaiser Family Foundation published that 90% of all American high school students receive sex education before graduation."