Listen up, fellow feminazi bonerkillers! The days of our federal tax dollars going to brainwash our younger sisters about birth control–a.k.a. “Community Based Abstinence Education”– are over. Champagne and condoms for everyone!
As you may recall:
Under the Bush administration, CBAE grants went to programs that teach kids the only way to prevent pregnancy and avoid sexually-transmitted infections is to postpone sex until marriage. Budget language explicitly prevented those programs from providing students “any other education regarding sexual conduct.”
We all know how well that worked. Teen pregnancy rates are on the rise and even the GOP’s resident youth authorities Meghan McCain and Bristol Palin have both gone on record saying that the right-wing’s emphasis on abstinence only is disingenuous, ignorant and “not realistic at all.” (At least, that’s what Bristol said before she snapped back into line earlier this week).
The Obama budget eliminates the main source of federal funding for abstinence-only education and replaces them with $110 million in competitive grants to “fund teen pregnancy prevention programs.” At least $75 million of that is reserved for
…programs that replicate the elements of one or more teenage pregnancy prevention programs that have been proven through rigorous evaluation to delay sexual activity, increase contraceptive use (without increasing sexual activity), or reduce teenage pregnancy.
ZOMG, rigorous evaluation! And contraceptive use! Sweet, sweet contraceptive use!
The Obama program also also authorizes $50 million in new mandatory teen pregnancy prevention grants to states, in order to create new and hopefully more effective programs to replace the outdated, abstinence-emphasizing ones. There’s real mandate for this kind of change: a study in 2004 by Kaiser Permanente showed that over 95% of parents with middle-schoolers said they thought contraception was an “appropriate topic” for sex-ed classes.
NB: these programs are aimed at reducing teen pregnancy only. They’re not comprehensive programs meant to cover HIV and STI prevention too. But any program that pushes condom use–and condoms being cheap and readily available to teens, I think that’s what these programs will be emphasizing–will also help protect teenagers’ health.