AN END TO ABSTINENCE FUNDING? Backers of abstinence-only education are starting to worry that their funding will be cut off when Democrats assume control of Congress. A Christian news service reports that a "Republican source" says "the staff of liberal Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman is in the process of rewriting the set of definitions of what is considered an abstinence program."

Sweet! Could this mean they'll push to start funding comprehensive sex education, which discusses abstinence but also teaches students about contraception? At the very least, they could impose greater restrictions on programs that receive abstinence-only money, ensuring that the curricula are free of medically inaccurate information, religious themes and gender stereotypes. Since 1996, abstinence-only has been the official sex-ed policy of the U.S. government. But with Waxman in a better position to act on the content of his widely read report on the subject, I'm hopeful about reform.

--Ann Friedman

You may also like