Today, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held its first oversight hearing on Bush’s failed “abstinence-only” policy. What a difference pro-choice leadership in Congress makes!
As I’m sure readers know by now, President Bush and his allies in Congress have spent more than $1 billion of our tax dollars on “abstinence-only” programs that censor information about contraception. They’ve done so, even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that at least one in four teenage girls nationwide has a sexually transmitted infection. Yikes! One in four is no joke.
Unfortunately, it’s clear that President Bush has decided to turn a blind eye to the facts, and the many other reports which disprove the effectiveness of “abstinence-only” programs. Instead he continues to push taxpayer dollars into these programs that simply don’t work. Not unexpected, given his legacy, but definitely not good.
Thankfully, today, new members of the Oversight Committee exposed these ineffective programs, and even better for Marylanders, one of those new members is our very own freshman, Rep. John Sarbanes (D-03).
Rep. Sarbanes spoke as a pro-choice lawmaker and father of a 17-year old, 14-year old, and nine-year old. During the hearing he said that he, too, is concerned about what information is taught to his children. He made the observation that, based on the testimony he heard at the hearing and the research he’d seen previously, the best way to protect young people is by giving them comprehensive sex education that includes all the facts about abstinence and contraception. Every panelist but one (brought by the anti-choice side) agreed.
Pro-choice Marylanders should be proud of Rep. Sarbanes for shining a spotlight on President Bush’s discredited “abstinence-only” policy and protecting us, American taxpayers, from wasteful, ineffective programs. With new strong leaders like Rep. Sarbanes, pro-choice Americans are seeing a real difference in Congress’ approach to reproductive-health issues.”
Click here to read the testimony, submitted by Nancy Keenan to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.