Policy & Politics
200 Public Health Advocates Rally Against Bush's Abstinence-Only Sex Education Policy at Close of STD Conference
March 11, 2004
About 200 public health advocates on Wednesday at the close of the 2004 National STD Prevention Conference in Philadelphia rallied against the Bush administration's plans to expand abstinence-only sex education, the AP/Long Island Newsday reports (Straziuso, AP/Long Island Newsday, 3/10). During his State of the Union speech in January, Bush called for $270 million for abstinence education programs to fight sexually transmitted diseases, saying that abstinence "is the only certain way" to avoid STDs (Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, 2/19). Public health advocates have "long complained" that abstinence-only sex education "hurts" sexually active teenagers, according to the Associated Press (Straziuso, Associated Press, 3/10). Two years ago, independent researchers who studied the programs for the federal government reported that there is "no reliable evidence" that abstinence-only education programs are effective, according to the AP/Newsday (AP/Long Island Newsday, 3/10). Teenagers who make "virginity pledges" to abstain from sexual intercourse until marriage have STD rates similar to those of teens who have not committed to remain abstinent, according to a study presented at the conference on Tuesday (Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, 3/10). "The Bush administration needs to fund comprehensive sex education programs," Lauren Oshman, president of the American Medical Student Association, which co-sponsored the rally, said (AP/Long Island Newsday, 3/10).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.