Photo by the wonderful Urbanphotography Chris LeBlanc.
I am NOT happy about this. Rinse, repeat, repeat (iTunes link). Looks like I’ll be talking to paranoid and potentially infected teens on the crisis lines (and via email) for the forseeable future. On CNN:
(CNN) — The health care reform legislation that President Obama signed recently isn’t only about insurance coverage — there’s also a renewal of $50 million per year for five years for abstinence-focused education.
Programs that receive this funding must “teach that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems,” according to the Department of Health and Human Services. To qualify, they must also teach that sex before marriage is “likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects.” These are part of the “A-H definition,” requirements for programs to receive abstinence funding under Title V of the Social Security Act.
“Title V is trying to make sure that kids are being given a message that saving sex and childbearing for marriage is the safest, healthiest, best choice,” said Scott Phelps, executive director of Abstinence & Marriage Education Partnership. Public schools hire educators from this organization to teach abstinence, and may use Title V funding for it, he said.
In Phelps’ experience — he started his abstinence education work in Chicago, Illinois, 10 years ago — the abstinence message is embraced by kids, even some who have already become sexually active. “They didn’t realize they could stop,” he said.