Colin Powell Departs from Bush Policy for Abstinence-Only Education
In an appearance on MTV yesterday, Secretary of State Colin Powell advocated condom use as a responsible way to prevent the spread of AIDS, diverging from President George W. Bush’s policies in favor of abstinence-only sex education. Powell said, “It is important that the whole international community come together, speak candidly about it, forget about taboos, forget about conservative ideas with respect to what you should tell young people about.” Powell’s statement comes after Bush made an announcement that he will seek a 33% increase in funding for abstinence-only programs in the FY 2003 budget, representing an increase of $33 million over the last year.
Abstinence only education programs prohibit discussion of birth control, condoms, and other family planning devices as effective means for preventing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unwanted pregnancy. According to a 1997 study by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, “there does not currently exist any scientifically credible, published research” that show abstinence-only programs delay or reduce sexual activity. In the same year, a panel on HIV convened by the National Institutes of Health claimed “abstinence only programs cannot be justified in the face of effective programs and given the fact that we face an international emergency in the AIDS epidemic.”
Despite this evidence, Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer noted, “The president continues to believe that abstinence and abstinence education is the most effective way to prevent AIDS, to prevent unwanted pregnancy.”
5/27/2015 California Passes Reproductive FACT Act - The California State Assembly passed the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act yesterday.
AB 775, or the FACT Act, passed 48-25 in a vote, and requires that unlicensed facilities in California that provide pregnancy-related services disclose that they are not licensed medical providers. . . .
5/26/2015 Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage - Over the weekend, the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to pass a national referendum legalizing same-sex marriage.
Ireland became the first country in the world to pass marriage equality through popular vote on Friday. . . .