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Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Still Lives. Thanks, Hatch, Lincoln, and Conrad

December 24th, 2009, 10:12 pm admin Leave a comment Go to comments

I don’t suppose Graham and DeMint are going to go after this part of the new HCR bill in their zeal to expose sweetheart Senate deals?

A number of studies have cast some serious doubt about the effectiveness of abstinence-only sex education and as a result, congressional Democrats — who have bristled at the program for years — cut off all federal funding.

But then Hatch stepped in. During a committee health reform debate, he cited his own supportive studies and proposed an amendment restoring $50 million for the controversial program for the next five years. It passed with the help of two Democrats — Sens. Blanche Lincoln, from Arkansas, and Kent Conrad, from North Dakota — much to the chagrin of Senate liberals.

“I sure do not want the abstinence education to be short-changed,” Hatch said during the hearing.

The committee passed a second amendment supported by the Democratic chairman that created a separate $50 million program for comprehensive sex-ed, which combines information about abstinence, sexually transmitted diseases and contraceptives.

As the Senate nears a final vote, both programs remain in the legislation.

By all means, give the guy who’s going to vote against the bill and then spend the next decade campaigning against it money for a program that has been been proven, in multiple studies, to be a disaster.

[T]hose youngsters who took the virginity pledge were not only just as likely to have intercourse, they ultimately were more likely to take part in sex in an unsafe manner. This has led experts to conclude that the lessons students take from their abstinence-only education programs is a negative and/or faulty view of contraception.

It’s hard to know which aspect of this story to be more frustrated by. The total waste of money that was supposed to have been intended to help people get medical care, that Hatch–who dropped out of “bipartisan” negotiations with Baucus early on in the process and who was never going to vote for the bill anyway–got the crappy provision into the bill, or that Blanche Lincoln and Kent Conrad enabled him. Take your pick.

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