Abstinence Only: Back So Soon?

I thought we all decided that abstinence only education doesn’t work. And I don’t mean “we” as in the pro-choice reproductive rights community—I mean students, teachers, parents, school boards, and even the president.

But I guess some members of congress didn’t get the memo.

According to a report from the Associated Press late Tuesday night, members of the Senate Finance Committee are trying to put more funds into the ineffective “sex ed” curriculum. “A Senate committee voted Tuesday night to restore $50 million a year in federal funding for abstinence-only education that President Barack Obama has pushed to eliminate. The 12-11 vote by the Senate Finance Committee came over objections from its chairman, Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana.”

So who was in charge of this ridiculous proposal? None other than Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah.

Shelby Knox, a national sex educator and activist extraordinaire, put up a post on Facebook this morning encouraging those in support of comprehensive sex ed to demand responsible education policies from their elected officials.

“It’s national Sex Education Week and 10 Senate Republicans, as well as 2 Democrats, approved an amendment to restore funding to ineffective, dangerous abstinence-only programs,” she wrote. “If you’re an Arkansas resident, call Sen. Lincoln (202 224-4843…) and tell her you DON’T approve of her vote last night. North Dakota residents, do the same (202 224-2043) for Senator Conrad.”

Luckily, this measure still has to go through the House and the Senate, so this still has a chance of being struck down. But we—and now I do mean our community of activists—need to remember that there are still powerful people who still put their faith in useless programs instead of understanding that honest education is the only path to healthy adulthood. And it’s up to us to let them know that they’re wrong.

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