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03 June 2008


eleanor roffman

great to post that film clip about the history of birth control in this country. i was one of those pill popping cigarette smoking women!
good thing i came out so i could live a healthier life; gave up the pill and the cigarette.
it seems, as you point out , evidence doesn't matter in this case. Abstinence as a practice does not work! what works is kids having the education they need and a reason to believe that postponing childbirth till adulthood is in their best interest.

Timothy Kukler

Here, Hear! Cheers Sue, excellent article.

It's amazing that our Federal Government doesn't come to our aid here.
Abstinence-only programs don't delay the initiation of sex or reduces the number of sexual partners, period. How many studies must come out before we call our legislators.

Comprehensive sexuality education programs are delaying the initiation of sex, reducing the frequency of sex, reducing the number of sexual partners and increasing condom or contraceptive use. I would add; this prevents the spread of disease too.

Why do some (ie; Rep. David Obey, D) continue to increase federal funding for programs that don't work (abstinence) and fail to recommend funding that statistically DO work (comprehensive education about sex?) Come on government get with REALITY. Comprehensive sex education SAVES LIVES and despite the Catholic Church's declaration that "it's immoral" they are just trying the tired method of using "shame" to control their group. This group doesn't speak for the majority of us, this is no laughing matter and Comprehensive Sex Education should be funded NOW, let's toss "Abstinence" out the windows it DOESN'T WORK.

Maggie Jochild

Hey, I was reading Alternet and what do I see but THIS ARTICLE! By our own Sue Katz! Congrats, not just to you but to lucky Alternet readers.

Much (a majority, I think) of the impetus behind "abstinence only" comes from those who want to control women's bodies and sexuality, period. It's not about preventing teen pregnancy for these folks, it's about preventing teen SEX or any sex outside the confines of heterosexual marriage, where it can be, they believe, controlled by and there for the benefit of the husband. Their next step, after outlawing abortion (and of course all forms of queer sex) is to stop birth control of any kind. In fact, some efforts along that line are already under way.

Competency doesn't matter to them (I mean, look at the Bush administration). Imposing a particular kind of Christian, male-dominated morality on the entire population is their goal -- indeed, as they see it, their divine right.

Stephen Weinstein

I find it interesting that those of us who oppose the insidious influence of religious fundamentalism do not at the same time readily admit that within America there is a war of ideologies taking place. In my recent blog I tried to point this out with the following quote:

“There are two visions of America. One precedes our founding fathers and finds its roots in the harshness of our puritan past. It is very suspicious of freedom, uncomfortable with diversity, hostile to science, unfriendly to reason, contemptuous of personal autonomy. It sees America as a religious nation. It views patriotism as allegiance to God. It secretly adores coercion and conformity. Despite our constitution, despite the legacy of the Enlightenment, it appeals to millions of Americans and threatens our freedom.

The other vision finds its roots in the spirit of our founding revolution and in the leaders of this nation who embraced the age of reason. It loves freedom, encourages diversity, embraces science and affirms the dignity and rights of every individual. It sees America as a moral nation, neither completely religious nor completely secular. It defines patriotism as love of country and of the people who make it strong. It defends all citizens against unjust coercion and irrational conformity.

This second vision is our vision. It is the vision of a free society. We must be bold enough to proclaim it and strong enough to defend it against all its enemies.”
Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine (1928 – 2007) a founder of the Society for Humanistic Judaism


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