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Afternoon Round-Up

Rachel Hart,
Reproductive Freedom Project
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June 21, 2006

The Detroit Free Press publishes a letter to the editor from the medical director of an adolescent HIV/AIDS program in Detroit that says “Education is the best defense against AIDS.”

I support encouraging the delaying of sexual activity in youth so that they are mature enough to make good and independent decisions as well as decreasing the risks of multiple partners. However, the reality of our society is that the majority of people will engage in sex before marriage, and they need to know how to protect themselves from pregnancy and HIV/STDs. It is also true that women, especially, get infected from their husbands even if they were not sexually active before marriage. It is our responsibility as adults to teach our teens from a medical and scientific perspective, and not from a judgmental and moral stance.

The AP reports that a group in Arizona is using dance to promote abstinence until marriage and taking that message to Kampala, Uganda in July.

On July 14, BreakDown will travel to Kampala, Uganda, where it will connect with a pastor and try to educate Ugandans about finding God and waiting until marriage to have sex.

Though they will not be promoting the use of condoms, group members hope their message, which is also anti-abortion, will help reduce the spread of the HIV virus that causes AIDS.

The Portales News-Tribune has an article about a local ab-only program in Lindsey, New Mexico that contains a very sobering quote:

“This is an abstinence-only course. Some of the kids asked about condoms, but we can’t talk to them about that.”

More than half of Lindsey’s 300-plus students participated in the federally funded Worth the Wait program during the spring semester, according to Theti.

SIECUS has some quotes from the high school curriculum for Worth the Wait:

Worth the Wait asks students to sign the following pledge: “Starting today, I ________ (name) pledge to abstain from sexual activity until marriage, as this is the only proven way to protect myself from out-of-wedlock pregnancy and STDs. I am Worth the Wait.” (Worth the Wait, Section 8-43)

“Research has shown that teenagers who sign abstinence pledges are much less likely to have intercourse.”” (Worth the Wait, Section 8-43)

Worth the Wait’s lesson on contraception is entitled “Why Contraceptives are not the Answer for Teens.”

“Males will often have their first intercourse experience with a woman to whom he feels no particular attachment while females tend to have their first sexual experience with a man they love and may want to marry.” (Worth the Wait, Section 5-11)

“Males typically felt their female partners expected some form of materialism (e.g. dinners, entertainment) in exchange for sex.” (Worth the Wait, Section 5-11)

“Couples who cohabitate: value marriage less; do not want to be responsible for one another; are less faithful to their partner than married couples; are not as happy; [and] are more likely to get divorced.” (Worth the Wait, Section 8-35.10)

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