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September 15, 2005

Abstinence Challenge Questioned
By Kim Trobee

Untitled Document

The abstinence-only approach to sex education is proving effective in curbing teen pregnancy and the rate of STD ’s among young people. Now, Advocates for Youth and SIECUS are using the Data Quality Act, a little used law, to challenge government funding of such programs saying there is not adequate oversight. Linda Klepacki of Focus on the Family Action suggests the government dig a little deeper.

“There has been no oversight of these programs from Planned Parenthood and SIECUS. Because they haven’t been looked through, they are coming against abstinence education and for the first time, that opens up the door both ways.”

For thirty years SIECUS has had a monopoly on sex education in schools. Klepacki contends abstinence education is bad for their business.

“We’re getting funded at a larger level and while we’re getting funded larger in abstinence education, comprehensive sex education funding is going to go down so they’re seeing it in their pocketbook and they’re going to come after us.”

Libby Gray Macke directs Project Reality, a national abstinence education program.

“I think these groups are scared and nervous because abstinence education is so successful in reaching students with the message and the students are listening.”

She says the action may be short-lived if Health and Human Services decides to shine a light on both side’s curricula.

“All the federal government needs to do is to examine the explicit and graphic information that these two groups are giving to children and they’ll probably drop the whole idea of a case.”

The sex education advocacy groups claim that a congressional report found 11 of the 13 abstinence curricula contained medical inaccuracies. Klepacki says all of those claims have since been either proven false or corrected. This week Congress will vote to appropriate even more money to abstinence education. Neither Advocates for Youth or SIECUS returned phone calls for comment.


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