Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thanks a lot, Dave Obey.

Full disclosure: I'm cross-pollinating. The publishing company I work for, Beacon Press, has a great blog (the Beacon Broadside) and a terrific and thoughtful blog editor.

I just do not understand why this country keeps throwing money at abstinence-only education. Clearly, it doesn't work; clearly, we don't have the best interests of our youth at heart if we refuse to give them scientifically based education that respects them as thinking, and yes, sexual human beings. So it is incredibly disturbing that abstinence-only funding is being used as a pawn on the Hill by a party with a so-called progressive agenda. I hadn't planned to mix work and Fringe, but today's post by Carole Joffe is just the kind of thoughtful whistleblowing we need in this country:

But Democrats supporting "abstinence-only," especially after the November 2006 election, when they regained control of the House and Senate?! A powerful Democratic committee chair proposing to give even more to these programs than the Bush administration has asked for?! No, this is not a Saturday Night Live or Jon Stewart parody. This is Washington politics. In a move that stunned advocates for "comprehensive" sex education—that is, programs that include discussion of both abstinence and birth control options—Congressman James [sic] Obey of Wisconsin, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, proposed increasing by $28 million the current abstinence-only allocation of $113 million. Obey made this move in order to lure Republican votes for Congress’s main domestic spending bill. (In fairness, an equal increase was suggested for Title X, a federal family planning program that has been consistently under-funded during the Bush years.)

This (mis)appropriation may not see the light of day, given the wrangling taking place on the hill, but whatever transpires in the next few weeks, reproductive justice advocates are deeply demoralized to see how casually an issue of such intense importance could be horse traded away.

Complete posting is here.
Good HuffPo article too.

Yikes, it's a whiteout in downtown Boston. Safe travels, everyone.

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