For the health and success of America’s youth

Here’s this week’s radio commentary. Read the full transcript here. Listen to the MP3 here.

What do abstinence education and poverty reduction have in common? More than you might think! Last week we learned that President Obama’s budget cut funding for so-called “abstinence-only” education and directs the funds, about $164 million, to a “Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative.” Is this the death-knell for abstinence education?

Not by a long shot, according to Wisconsin Abstinence Coalition Executive Director, Sally Ladke. According to the president’s current proposal, the funding would be directed to evidence-based, scientifically accurate sexual education.

We know, based on the wording of the requirements and the advocacy of some of today’s leading sexual education curriculum providers (such as Planned Parenthood), this proposal is supposed to edge out abstinence education funding. However, abstinence education actually meets those requirements.

As Ladke points out, the sexual education crowd coined the term “abstinence-only” education to discredit the abstinence movement. This is not the “just say no” approach; it’s an effective, evidence-based, scientifically accurate, age-appropriate, risk-avoidance program. It’s the abstinence-centered program.

Abstinence-centered curricula do not ignore the temptations, expectations, risks and facts of teen sexuality—they incorporate those facts into comprehensive programs centered on abstinence education. Abstinence-centered programs give kids a road map for their future, help them set goals and identify and learn the skills they need to get there without sacrificing their happiness and health.

Read the rest here.

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