Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The myth of "abstinence-only"

Created by: Angie
We all know by now that McCain is decidedly anti-choice, and that Sarah Palin has said that she would not support abortion even in cases of rape or incest. But also deserving focus is their support of abstinence-only education in schools. McCain has said that he believes the elimination of abstinence-only programs would be wrong, though he has also proven himself completely ignorant of contraception and HIV prevention. We simply cannot afford to allow these irresponsible policies to continue.

The abstinence-only experiment of the Bush administration has been a failure. The United States leads developing nations in both teenage birthrate and teenage pregnancy, though we don't hold the title for the most sexually active teens. An excellent piece by Charles Blow in Saturday's New York Times highlighted the gaping divide between the Republican platform, and the desires of parents and educators:
According to a 2004 survey sponsored by NPR, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, 65 percent of parents of high school students said that federal money “should be used to fund more comprehensive sex education programs that include information on how to obtain and use condoms and other contraceptives.”
The Obama-Biden ticket is committed to supporting comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education. The McCain-Palin ticket is shamefully trying to discredit this position. Palin's own family is proof that their head-in-the-sand position does not work. The Republicans' practice of puritanical moralizing does nothing to prepare young people to make important decisions about their personal lives.

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