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Gluttons, Failures and More

Rachel Hart,
Reproductive Freedom Project
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June 13, 2007

There have been several interesting articles on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs as of late.The Nation has a piece called “The Abstinence Gluttons” which traces the cronyism of the Bush Administration’s abstinence-only-until-marriage industry. If you thought people weren’t making money off these programs think again. The article sorts through a very tangled web of connections between the Administration and private-sector abstinence-only supporters. It also features this quote from a 1999 stump speech that Bush clearly made good on:

My Administration will elevate abstinence education from an afterthought to an urgent goal.

“The Expensive Failure of Abstinence Education” is an article in Alternet detailing Wade Horn’s legacy at HHS. Horn, the former assistant secretary in charge of overseeing abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, resigned last month. The article makes clear that the resignation of key supporters or halting funding for these programs won’t make the abstinence-only-until-marriage industry disappear overnight:

The legacy of Wade Horn has to do with building up an entire movement in abstinence-only education. There are associations, clearing houses and a medical institute [devoted to the cause].

And it’s not just a legacy of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that Horn leaves behind. From discriminatory fatherhood initiatives to marriage programs that siphon money away from poverty relief, the Administration is committed to making sure all Americans can get a dose of its ideology.Finally, Stateline takes a look at what is happening in the states. The good news is that many states are making strides:

So far this year three states — Colorado, Iowa and Washington — have enacted laws requiring schools that teach sex education to ensure the information is “medically accurate” or “science-based” — code words for a comprehensive program.In Minnesota, an education budget bill with a similar requirement is on the governor’s desk. The Kansas Board of Education in April issued new guidelines that favor comprehensive sex education, and a bill pending in New York would fund such programs.

Even if the federal government continues to pour money into these ineffective programs, at least people in the states are still able to take a stand.

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