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Obama Funds Abstinence Education

April 4, 2010

Dear President Obama,

It was really awesome a year ago when you decided to cut funding of abstinence-only sex education and instead put that money toward teen-pregnancy prevention. It was definitely a progressive step in integrating the values of waiting till you’re older to have children and the values of teenagers are going to fuck no matter what.

But recently you decided to backtrack and put a whopping $250 million into abstinence-only education.

What exactly is abstinence-only education? Defined by the board of health, it is “teach[ing] that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems.”

In other words, children and teenagers are not given any actual information on sex. Just a stern look accompanied with ‘Don’t fucking do it, okay!?’ Also, its a load of bull. Hey it’s great if you don’t want to bone until you’re married, really, it’s completely okay and respectable.  But it’s not everyone’s moral beliefs/cup of tea. The straight up reality is TEENAGERS ARE GOING TO HAVE SEX. It is not that hard to figure out tab A to slot B. The internet itself provides endless resources for how to have sex (and unfortunately not enough resources on how to be smart about it).

By not teaching children about exactly how STDs spread, what condoms are, different forms of birth control (and how some are more safe or more harmful), and how pregnancy actually works, all it is doing is creating a mess of lies and misconceptions. When I was in comprehensive sex-ed in middle school, it did NOT make me want to jump into the sack (as so many pro-abstinence education people believe it does). Learning about the real risks, implications, and necessary precautions that came with sex only made me realize that it was a pretty big deal and I was too young for it.

Knowledge is power, people. By depriving children and teenagers of life-saving information that they so desperately need, you are only creating bigger problems. The more you know, the less likely you are to do something stupid.

In the above linked article, it notes a January 2009 study which found that “religious teens who take virginity pledges are less likely to use condoms or birth control when they become sexually active, and just as likely to have sex before marriage as their peers who didn’t take pledges.”

Why the heck are you pouring money into a system that has no evidence of ever working, Obama? It’s like saying, “well making children eat bananas everyday for lunch will make them forget about sweets and thus end child obesity.”

One good part is, $75 million will be put toward “personal responsibility education” which includes abstinence and contraception teaching. It’s a start, at least.

Yes, children should be encouraged to delay sexual interactions, definitely. But if you haven’t noticed, teenagers aren’t exactly known for doing what they’re told. Preventative measures, people. Do you really want your government restricting life-saving information?

[Resources!]
Planned Parenthood
Sexual Health Network
Go Ask Alice (about safe sex)

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2010 6:05 pm

    Just because Obama run with a D behind his name that doesn’t make him a Democrat.
    You migth want to add in your post that Obama’s HMO bailout bill explicitely forces women to buy a separate insurance plan if they need abortions, etc.

    Regardless of what you might think, Obama is not a friend to women. Just look at his action, not his words.

    • April 6, 2010 1:35 am

      I’m going to politely and respectfully disagree. True, the health care plan does require separate plans for abortion, but federal funding has never once been contributed to abortion.

      However, that being said, the health care plan is a move in the right direction. The feminization of poverty is a phenomena which has emerged word wide, but particularly in the U.S. Women are more likely to have less access to education and employment options, and from this less access to health care. Is the HRC perfect? No. But it’s a start.

      • April 8, 2010 2:14 pm

        I’m sorry, but I am afraid you appear to misunderstand the bill. This is NOT about federal funds. Under this bill, ANY insurance plan that gets any amount of money from the FED will be banned from offering abortions- and by the looks of it other birth control as well.
        If you insurance plan covered it before- it won’t cover it now and you will need to get a COMPLETELY new insurance plan for it. A lot of women can’t afford 2 insurance payments.

        Translation: if you had a good insurance plan- say goodbye to it. If you ahve a bad one- it just got worse and you are unlikely to be able to get out of it.

        The HRC is not a step in the right direction- it is a bailout for HMOs and nothing more. Exactly what do you think will happen to those people who will find themselves newly covered by medicare only to find that no doctor takes Medicare anymore because of their payment cuts?

        Plus, allow me to be freaked out by a Government who passes a law obliging people to buy a private company’s products.

      • April 8, 2010 2:16 pm

        Hold on, forgot to add this:
        so you think making it HARDER for women to get abortions is a step in the right direction? Have you forgotten that Obama upheld the conscience clause?

        Seriously people, what does it take for you to realize this guy is not a friend to women?

  2. April 5, 2010 11:53 pm

    Love this. Well thought out and appropriately passionate (haha, no play on words intend)
    But so you know in the fifth paragraph from the bottom, you wrote “live-saving” I think you meant life-saving? I just know I like to have my typos pointed out, sorry if you don’t ;)

    • Tegan McRae permalink*
      April 6, 2010 12:53 am

      Ahh thanks! Corrected :)

  3. April 6, 2010 2:07 am

    This is obviously Obama trying to gain support amongst certain people. It’s funny to me when politicians do something to gain popularity that they may not even truly believe in. Acts like these are such a small blip in the news that no one will remember stuff like this come election time, except for the people that wanted it to happen.

    I’d rather have him cut the abstinence program completely rather than throw more money at it. As you pointed out, it doesn’t work anyways.

    Kid’s aren’t stupid. You tell them sex is dangerous and you should never do it, they know you are telling half-truths. Sex is awesome. They are going to do it no matter what. Race, creed, social upbringing… none of these factors matter when it comes to horny human instinct.

    I think if we love and respect our youth, the only right thing to do is teach them everything about sex. There is no difference between teaching them about the digestive system and the reproductive system. We try to teach them how to eat right, but we don’t teach them how to to have sex responsibly?


    Oh shit, I guess we really don’t do either…

    The public school system can kiss my ass anyways :)

    Reform! LOL

    • Tegan McRae permalink*
      April 6, 2010 5:02 am

      You make a good point, that a lot of people just forget about these small points come election time. The Obama/McCain election was the first where I was old enough and educated enough to comprehend a lot of their agenda. I should really start documenting these small points with Obama when he runs again.

  4. April 9, 2010 6:39 am

    It’s worth mentioning that most of the HMO bailout bill only comes into happening in 2014. After Obama runs for re-election. At the time when the people will feel the full force of this pos legislation- they WONT BE ABLE TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT- OBAMA WOULD HAVE ALREADY RAN FOR RE-ELECTION ND THUS THE IRE OF THE DISAPPOINTED POPULUS WOULD NOT AFFECT HIM IN ANY MEANINGFUL WAY.
    Hmmmmmmmmmm

  5. January 14, 2011 9:16 pm

    The Obama administration eliminated 2 abstinence-only programs – the CBAE and the AFLA Prevention program (113 million a year combined) and initiated 2 new sex-ed programs that are evidence-based (as in they have to actually work). The 2 new programs are the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (TPP) and the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP).

    The 75 million a year is actually for the TPP program not the PREP program and is 75 million for evidence-based programs and 25 million for innovative strategies for a total of 100 million a year. The PREP program is an additional 55 million a year for a total of 155 million a year.

    The 250 million you mention for abstinence only education is over a 5 year period so is only 50 million a year. This funding is provided by the Social Security Act’s Title V, section 510 and had temporarily also been eliminated. However, it was reinstated in the health care reform bill by a provision inserted by Orrin Hatch. I’m not sure you can really blame Obama for that. Also, even though funding was set at 50 million, I think that only 33 million was actually dispersed.

    At any rate sex ed funding went from abstinence-only 163 million, comprehensive 0 to abstinence-only 33 million, comprehensive 155 million which is pretty good.

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