Monday, October 29, 2007

Senator Cardin Supports Fact-Based Sex Ed

Last week I posted here urging everyone to register their support for cutting federal funding of abstinence-only sex ed programs. I did so myself, and the following is what I received today from Maryland Senator Ben Cardin - I've always thought well of him, and now I think even more of him.

Senator Cardin (or more likely an aide) wrote:

Dear Ms. Wagner:

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about federal funding for abstinence-only sexual education. I too am concerned with the inefficacy of abstinence-only programs, and have long supported a more balanced approach to sexual education that promotes scientifically accurate information about contraception, abstinence, and the risks of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.

As a provision of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Congress mandated a federal evaluation of the Title V Abstinence-Only Education block grant program. The study, which was conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., found that youth in abstinence-only programs were no more likely than control group youth to remain abstinent . Meanwhile, numerous studies have affirmed the effectiveness of a broad-based and balanced sexual education that teaches about the proper and responsible use of contraception as well as abstinence.

Yet, as in past years, President Bush's proposed FY 2008 budget would significantly increase funding for abstinence-only education to $191 million. I will urge my colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services to spend our taxpayer dollars on more useful and science-based sexual education programs. Please be assured that I will also continue to fight against the encroachment of politics into policy decisions that should be based on the best available science.

I appreciate your letting me know of your interest in this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me again about this or any other issue of importance to you.

No comments: