Abstinence - Archive

Fall 2005: Abstinence

Planned Parenthood Harming Teens with So-Called “Abstinence Education”

LA Governor’s Abstinence Program Found Innocent by Federal Judge

Texas Department of Health: Teen pregnancy rates down 44 percent in Midland County

Parents Are Winning for Abstinence in Maryland

Just the Facts: HIV/AIDS Project Promotes HIV Prevention Through Abstinence

PLANNED PARENTHOOD HARMING TEENS WITH SO-CALLED “ABSTINENCE” EDUCATION — In addition to the physical harm done to women and babies at its clinics, Planned Parenthood “educators” often inflict psychological harm on young teens and give advice that could lead to physical maladies.

Recently, Planned Parenthood in Waco, Texas held a seminar titled “Making Sense of Abstinence.” In a Waco Tribune-Herald article before the seminar was held, the education director for Planned Parenthood of Central Texas was quoted as saying, “We’re singing the same song. But we’re trying to explain better and attract people who think the abstinence-only camp is the only place to be. We’re trying to broaden the welcome mat.”

What does PP really think of abstinence? Well, the speaker for the day was Bill Taverner [dir, Center for Family Life Education] which is the education department of Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern New Jersey.  Taverner defines abstinence as not engaging in sexual intercourse, oral sex or anal sex.

But an important part of the seminar, he said, is teaching educators to help teens develop their own definition of abstinence (emphasis added) which may be more or less restrictive.

Taverner is quoted as saying, “We want to teach abstinence in a way that is respectful of young people and acknowledges the reality of teen sexual behavior” [ed: i.e. according to this thought process, teens are going to have sex anyway, so abstinence really isn’t very useful]. 

“Wow! Young children can, according to Planned Parenthood, define abstinence anyway they want. This is bringing moral relativism to even higher levels. One wonders whether PP would allow teens to develop their own definition of drunk driving.” [Wednesday STOPP Report, 12Oct05, Ryan Report]

LA GOVERNOR’S PROGRAM ON ABSTINENCE FOUND INNOCENT BY FEDERAL JUDGE According to U.S. District Court Judge Porteous Jr., the Louisiana program has not violated the separation of church & state.

The abstinence program was recently sued by the ACLU for having religious references on its web site, as well as links to religious programs.

ACLU is now suing another abstinence program, The Silver Ring Thing.

Defending the website, Demo Gov Blanco: the site offers constitutionally protected “discussion of religious issues.”

“This ruling in the state’s favor confirms that we live in a nation founded on the principle of freedom of religion, not freedom from religion,” said Nancy Victory [Dir, AbstinencEdu.com].

“The court rightfully stated in its opinion that the Governor’s Program on Abstinence (GPA) complied with the settlement agreement and applicable federal copyright laws. It further stated that all of the responses posted on the GPA website have the common purpose of advancing abstinence through non-religious teachings…I want to thank the AG and Assist. AGs for successfully defending the state and protecting the people’s rights. As I have said before, the ACLU’s claim that the Abstinence Program violated the United States Constitution was wrong and the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana agreed with us.” [Washington Times, 06/26/05; Abstinence Clearinghouse E-Mail Update, 06/29/05]

 

TWO COUNTIES IN TEXAS PROVE THAT ABSTINENCE EDUCATION SUPERIOR TO CONTRACEPTIVE-BASED SEX EDUCATION  Officials at The Life Center in Midland claim an abstinence program is a reason for a 44 percent drop in the teen pregnancy rate since 1998.

The latest Texas Department of Health Vital Statistics Annual Report, according a release, shows not only a drop from 43.5 to 24.2 from 1998 to 2003 in the teen pregnancy rate (per 1,000 females, ages 13-17) but the number of actual pregnancies decreased by 43.2 percent and reported abortions fell by 68.3 percent.

This decline moves Midland’s ranking among the 243 counties providing data to the TDH Report into the top 50 percent of Texas counties for lowest teen pregnancy rates. This is a state rank improvement of 65 spots since 1998, according to The Life Center.

The decline in Midland County, according to [one area abstinence educator], is even more pronounced when compared to Ector County and its school district’s policies.

Ector County is on pace with the national average at a 16.5 percent decline in the teen pregnancy rate from 1998 to 2003.

He said Odessa educators teach a more traditional, [contraceptive-based sex education] program, which includes “contraception promotion” and the instruction of contraception uses.

“It sends a mixed message,” [the abstinence educator] said. “About the time we started the program, both counties were not doing well. … Ector County still continues to drag along. … These two cities make a great comparison group because of historically different stances on sexual health education models while maintaining demographic similarities.”

Teen pregnancy rates for women age 13-17, 2003:
Ector 39.1
Midland 24.2
[Midland Reporter Telegram, 08/13/05; Abstinence Clearinghouse, 13Aug05]

PARENTS ARE WINNING IN MARYLAND…Montgomery County Board of Ed Settles Suit with Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum –

Proving that parents who stand up for their convictions and rights can effect change, two citizen groups settled a suit with the Montgomery County, Maryland Board of Education regarding the content of a new contraceptive-based sex education program.

Among the agreement’s terms, the Board will create a new 15 member Citizens Advisory Committee to examine new curricula. In addition, parent meetings will be held informing parents of new curricula at least 2 weeks in advance of new sex education classes. All curricula and teacher resources will be available for viewing at these parent meetings. Parental permission forms to attend classes will also be given in advance of any sex education classes.[Abstinence Clearinghouse E-Mail Update, 06/20/05]

HIV/AIDS PROJECT SAYS NO TO CONDOMS – A Canadian funded Rumphi Education AIDS Awareness Project (REAP) has taken a different approach in its fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS by discouraging the use of condoms.

The project, whose flagship is the prevention of HIV and AIDS through abstinence and AIDS mitigation through capacity building, care and support for both the infected and the affected says it has hundred percent proof that the surest and safest prevention of HIV and AIDS is abstinence.

The organization claims it has come under attack from 9 other Malawian organizations working with the Southern Africa Training Program (SAT) because of its anti-condom stance.

REAP Youth Coordinator Lowani Kalua says its arguments are based on fact: “Sometimes we have to disagree by giving out facts on condoms, especially when it is a known fact that they are not one hundred percent reliable. We tell people, especially the youth, that condoms are unsafe and that it puts their lives at risk. Nobody can say to us that these are not true facts.” [Malawi; The Chronicle Newspaper, 07/14/05; Abstinence Clearinghouse E-Mail Update, 06/20/05]