Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Greed And Abstinence

UPDATE: The subcommittee approved a 27.8 million increase for the program which does not work.
Have you heard that giving more money to abstinence programs which have been shown not to work is the kewl thing these days? Indeed! Tomorrow the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee is expected to increase the spending on abstinence-only programs by 20 to 27 million dollars (to a total of perhaps 150 million dollars) without adding any requirements for the programs to be more medically accurate. The full vote of the committee is expected the following Thursday.

The Community Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) programs that we as tax-payers are funding don't work. The most recent study (pdf), from April 2007, states this:

Findings indicate that the youth in the program group were no more likely than control group youth to have abstained from sex and, among those who reported having had sex, they had similar numbers of partners and had initiated sex at the same mean age.

We have a program which does nothing, and we are going to give it 27 million bucks more? Is that prudent fiscal governance? Or is it an outrageous form of pork, going straight into the pockets of the fundamentalist base of the Republican party? Note that some of the programs offer false medical information, too.

Here is what you can do:
1. Contact Nancy Pelosi and urge her not to support the measure (increasing the CBAE funding) or at least ask for medical amendments.
2. Contact David Obey with the same two messages.
3. Contact other members of the subcommittee with these messages.

This is truly a total waste of money, and consists of a transfer of income to those who voted for George Bush without helping the teens at all.