(From Common Dreams Today)
Challenging the "Luxury" of Abstinence
by Haider Rizvi
NEW YORK - While there is no indication that the George W. Bush administration is willing to roll back its current restrictions on funding for HIV/AIDS, it may find it difficult to maintain the status quo when Democrats take charge of the U.S. Congress in January.
U.S. efforts to promote abstinence as a cornerstone of sexual education have not lowered levels of sexually transmitted diseases, two former U.S. surgeon generals said on Thursday.
Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced a bill yesterday that would provide $206 million a year in grant money to states for comprehensive, medically accurate, and science-based sex education. The bill, called the Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act, would create a grant-giving program to be administered by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the number of births among girls in this age group dropped 38 percent from 1994 to 2002 alone, even though the number of girls 10 to 14 climbed 16 percent during the same