Rachel Hart,
Reproductive Freedom Project
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August 5, 2005

“I felt like both sides ought to be properly taught… so people can understand what the debate is about.”

“I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought… you’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes.”

Any idea where these quotes came from?

If you guessed President Bush, you’d be right.

It appears that the administration is in support of teaching various viewpoints and exposing kids to different schools of thought. At least, that is, when it comes to teaching about intelligent design and evolution. Of course, it’s clear that the administration does not have the same kind of commitment when it comes to teaching sexuality education.

Abstinence should be stressed to teens. However, it’s not enough to tell teens that they shouldn’t have sex until marriage and equip them with a virginity pledge and a pat on a back and hope that it all turns out okay. Pledges don’t protect teens when they do decide to have sex, and 88 percent of teens who take virginity pledges have sex before they are married. Most pledges are broken, and when that happens the only thing that will offer teens protection from unintended pregnancy and STDs is information. It’s this information, however, that the administration is hell bent on suppressing with its support for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs — programs that have been shown to teach false, misleading, or distorted information about reproductive health.

Let’s take President Bush at his word. We can impress on teens the importance of abstaining. Impress on them the risks that they may face if they do have sex. And we can also provide teens with information so that if they do decide to have sex they can protect themselves.

We can, as the president would say, properly teach both sides.