Upcoming Congressional Hearing on Abstinence Could be One-Sided Attack
by Steven Ertelt
April 17, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Leading Congressional abortion advocates plan a hearing next week on abstinence education and the forum has the makings of a one-sided attack. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform plans the hearing for April 23 to supposedly review the effectiveness of abstinence education.
However, leading abstinence critic Henry Waxman will chair the panel.
He has repeatedly gone after abstinence programs withwild-eyed claims that they are rife with inaccurate medical data and unrealistic expectations.
Waxman has invited five witnesses to take the anti-abstinence side in support of comprehensive sex education and just one abstinence proponent.
The hearing will have a significant impact on abstinence as Congress will begin deciding how to budget funds for abstinence and sex-ed funding under CBAE and Title V.
Dr. Stan Weed will present the growing body of research that shows abstinence education is effective in improving sexual health outcomes in teens.
But John Margand, the head of Healthy Respect, says the other invited speakers will likely attack abstinence as an effective means of helping teens avoid pregnancy, abortion and sexually transmitted diseases.
He told LifeNews.com that Congress would be better served by issuing an invitation to folks involved in abstinence education programs if they plan to fairly evalute them.
"These critics distort the true aims and methods of authentic abstinence education programs, ignore recent studies that reflect their positive impact, and fail to recognize the serious shortcomings of traditional comprehensive (condom) programs," he said.
"Congressman Waxman now proposes to conduct a hearing to review abstinence education programs, yet invites only one proponent of these same programs to testify," he added.
Margand points to a recent study of 50 sex-ed studies going back to 1990 that found none of them increased condom use among adolescents for a period of greater than one year.
"Despite the shortcomings of this lop-sided inquiry, we remain confident that Dr. Stan Weed, whose experience and credibility in evaluating abstinence programs is widely acknowledged, will be able to shed light on the growing body of evidence demonstrating their positive impact ," he told LifeNews.com.
ACTION: Go here to see if your member of Congress is on the committee and urge strong support for abstinence education funding.