Pro-Life Group Says Abstinence Education Hearing Still a One-Sided Affair
by Steven Ertelt
April 21, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading pro-life group says a pro-abortion Congressman holding a hearing on abstinence education this week has added another speaker in favor of abstinence. However, the Family Research Council says Rep. Henry Waxman’s panel is still a one-sided affair.
As LifeNews.com reported last week, Waxman planned to invite five witnesses to take the anti-abstinence side in support of comprehensive sex education and just one abstinence proponent.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman added another pro-abstinence speaker, but also added two additional panel members who will likely oppose abstinence education.
FRC president Tony Perkins says, "Waxman is inviting seven witnesses to testify against abstinence education, but only two in favor."
"Waxman’s witnesses support children’s sexual and reproductive health services without parental consent, the use of emergency contraceptives over-the-counter, and the radical view that abstinence violates human rights," Perkins said.
"His target is the Community Based Abstinence Program and the Title V abstinence state grant program [and] the hearing could also undermine other abstinence programs," Perkins added.
The Family Research Council is urging pro-life advocates to contact members of the committee and urge strong support for abstinence education and federal funding.
Previously, John Margand, the head of Healthy Respect, told LifeNews.com the anti-abstinence 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 evaluate 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.
In February, FRC helped to host Abstinence Day on the Hill, where students and teachers came to the nation’s capitol to educate members and their staff about the benefits of abstinence programs.
ACTION: Go here to see if your member of Congress is on the committee and urge strong support for abstinence education funding.