Experts Urge Congress to Cut Abstinence Only Funding
Ten top public health researchers urged Congressional leaders last week to cut funding for failed abstinence only programs. The letter, signed by researchers from universities like Columbia and Yale, as well as from the Guttmacher Institute, was sent to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. It warned that abstinence only programs withhold "potentially life-saving information" about contraceptives and ignore the health needs of homosexual, bisexual and transgender youth, reports the Washington Times. Abstinence only programs also omit information on the use of condoms, which would aid in the prevention of spreading sexually transmitted diseases.
Abstinence only programs have come under increasing fire as studies reveal how ineffective they are. The US has spent about $1 billion on failed abstinence only programs in the past decade.
Many states, including New York, Maine and Pennsylvania, have rejected the matching federal abstinence only funds in favor of teaching comprehensive sex education. Virginia recently became the 14th state to do so, cutting the $275,000 from the state budget that is required to match federal abstinence-only funding.
Media Resources: Daily Women’s Health Policy Report 11/28/07; Washington Times 11/28/07; Feminist Daily Newswire 11/26/07
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .