Open Letter to the Press
Why don’t you review some of the “abstinence-only” programs? They are a lot more than abstinence from sex. They address drugs, alcohol, tobacco, risk taking, decision making, goal setting, friendship skills, refusal techniques and communication as well as preparation from marriage, parenting and careers. There is a constant attack that is politically motivated. But for the life of me, I can’t understand why family planners would object to 10-14 year olds hearing about waiting. (5-9th grade is where abstinence programs mainly operate. Then teens get the contraceptive messages in high school) If abstinence educators are doing part of the job as a specialist, why complain? Be honest, more sex ed is happening in places that wouldn’t even touch the subject because they can teach it from an abstinence perspective which pleases parents particularly in rural and minority populations.
Family planners have educational directors in their offices and funding. Why not ask for funding instead of attacking others?
The “accuracy” issue is over minutia. One, condoms do fail, and certainly young condom-users fail. Patients need to know all the possible consequences and risk factors on all medical procedures, why handle this one as a PR issue instead of full disclosure. There is a cumulative effect with multiple years of exposure just check the Contraceptive Technology reference book. And finally, Santelli’s work was refuted, but that’s never mentioned. He contends that AIDS doesn’t kill for several years so the death issue should be downplayed. If that were true, the medical community owes an apology necessary for making smokers quit because they might get lung cancer and die or drug addicts or now the obese that are threatened with all kinds of diseases in 20-50 years.
Please be honest, this is politics. It is a battle over money not medicine.
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