Congress Increasing Funding for Ab-Only?

Thinking globally doesn't seem to apply locally for the Congress. In the same week, the House Appropriations Committee seems to be of two minds on ensuring that all people have the information and services they need to decide when they do begin to have sexual relations, and when they do, to be able to protect themselves against unintended pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

While yesterday the House Foreign Operations subcommittee approved legislation that enables global HIV prevention programs to determine at the country level the most effective and relevant mix of services needed by individuals there, the word is that the House Labor-Health and Human Services subcommittee is planning on spending $27 million more than last year (a total of $140 million) on abstinence-only programs (specifically for CBAE—Community Based Abstinence Education program—as early as tomorrow). Yes, the same programs that time and again have been proven to have NO impact on changing the sexual behaviors of young people—but can create increased risk because they are refused a breadth of knowledge on the subject.

It is unconscionable for the Democratic leadership to play into the politics of abstinence only programming, rather than paying attention to the public health evidence. Even more disturbing—in a time of limited resources for public health programs—that the United States think about throwing good money after bad by adding funding to these programs. Just take a look at the states—coast to coast and parts in between—that are rejecting this kind of programming. So why spend more money?

Certainly if the Congressional leadership can see the benefit of ensuring flexibility in international programs to enable the best public health outcomes, the same principle should be applied to domestic programs.

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  • invalid-0

    Rep. Obey and the Democratic leadership are playing political games with people’s lives and they should pay. Here’s their logic (if you can call it that): Throw some chump change at the abstinence-only crowd to placate them politically and to give Dems a vote to point to suggesting that they “get the family values crowd.”

    They are playing the politics of old at a time when voters are crawling through the desert on hands and knees thirsting for something, anything authentic. George Will even gets this in his column this week where he talks about the hunger for competency over ideology and how even many so-called pro-lifers are looking beyond that issue to find a candidate who can govern all the people. Last night’s GOP debate is must see TV as the single issue candidates look more and more ludicrous, truly caracitures of themselves.

    But the Congressional Leadership Dems think they are back in the 1980’s and playing politics like the majority they remember AND THAT THEY LOST!!!!!!

    It is time for a new, authentic politics and Obey and Pelosi are proving that they DON’T get that. They should be ashamed.

    Every STD, every case of HIV, every unintended pregnancy that comes as a result of this money is now on their head. They are trying to dodge responsibility for capitulation on the war in Iraq, but they have just capitulated on one of the easiest issues to deal with in the Culture Wars.

    Their political calculus is cynical and will arouse even more calls for third party candidates that will ultimately distract from the top of the ticket. Rep. Obey and Speaker Pelosi, worrying about their majority may need to practice saying President Romney if they keep this up.

  • invalid-0

    Been saying for a while now that the Dems are just as bad, now they prove me right. First they bend over and let GWB have his way with them and now this nonsense? The two party system has been screwing people over for well over fifty years and it’s only gonna get worse until we start kicking this bums out of office. Republican, Democrat. What difference does it make if their only loyalty is to who gives them money?

    Abstinence isn’t bad. In fact for a lot of people abstinence would probably be a good idea. It’d (hopefully) keep people like Paris Hilton from breeding more train wrecks like herself.

    But abstinence only education is feel good religious claptrap dreamed up by right wing Christian conservatives to be shoved down forcefully down the throats of everyone. It has no positive effect whatsoever and even Bush’s own studies prove that. It does however, have a negative effect in that when those teens finally do decide to take the plunge, they will not use condoms and will thus be at greater risk for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

    Why the hell are we letting the segment of the population with the highest rate of divorce decide what is good to teach the children that the rest of us have? They obviously can’t even get their own damned houses in order so they shouldn’t be making decisions for mine.

  • invalid-0

    How ODD that all your links fail to note the bill’s name, the sponsor, the co-sponsors or ANYTHING else specific. It’s a huge secret, apparently.

    Rather than give the details, you attack CONGRESS, when in fact this is one committee in the House, which btw is not the entire Congress or even the House, or even a committee, but a subcommittee.

    And you give no other information to go with those overgeneralizations.

    If this is how you plan on organizing political work via the blogs, it is not going to work, and it SHOULDN’T work, because the actual details, the actual information is MISSING.

    You’re rumor-mongering unless you do the rest of the work of informing people.

  • invalid-0

    the reason we had no link to the original bill is because we had this information as it was happening; the subcommittee hadn't even met yet. The subcommittee met yesterday and here is the result.

    Also, please check out our second post about this, written by James Wagoner of Advocates for Youth – another site which will give you back-up sources, information and resources about this issue.