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Afternoon News Round-UP: AZ, MS, and VA

Rachel Hart,
Reproductive Freedom Project
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July 13, 2006

Arizona: The Arizona Daily Sun reports that the Flagstaff Unified School District has approved the hiring of a specialist to teach abstinence-plus sex education classes to middle-school and high-schools students. The program will teach kids that abstinence is best, but also cover ways to reduce risk if they choose to have sex.Mississippi: The Daily Journal in Mississippi has an article about an abstinence workshop called “Just Wait.” The workshop has young girls caring for electronic babies around-the-clock over a three-day period. There isn’t any mention in the article of whether or not these teens are taught how to avoid pregnancy other than by abstaining.Virginia: The Hook has an article about a federal grant for more than $645,000 that Pregnancy Centers of Central Virginia received to bring the abstinence-only-until-marriage program “Why kNOw” to 30,000 students in the Charlottesville, Albemarle, Greene, Nelson, Fluvanna, Orange, Madison, Louisa and Culpeper counties. The article notes some of the problems with the Why kNOw curriculum:

Why kNOw is “absolutely fear-based in that it basically tells you that if you have sex outside of marriage, horrible things are going to happen to you, and you are going to have a horrible life,” says Martha Kempner, vice president of the D.C.-based Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. The Why kNOw program in particular “puts all the responsibility on the girl,” Kempner says. “The idea here is that it is the females’ responsibility to make sure they don’t have sex because boys want it all the time and you, as a girl who doesn’t really want it, are in a better position to make sure it doesn’t happen.”