NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Statement on Governor McDonnell Rejecting Funding for Comprehensive Sex Ed Programs



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                September 1, 2010

GOVERNOR MCDONNELL PLACES IDEOLOGY ABOVE TEEN HEALTH

NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia issued the following statement in response to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s decision to reject federal funding for comprehensive sex education programs and instead apply for abstinence-only funding.

“It is disappointing that Governor McDonnell has put political ideology before our teens’ health,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “It is perplexing that the governor chooses to show his disregard for the health of Virginia teens on the same day we learn about a survey of Roanoke parents showing solid support for teaching comprehensive sex education in schools. It is unconscionable that, at a time when rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections are on the rise the governor chooses to favor programs that do not work. The governor’s opposition to teaching teens about abstinence and contraception defies common sense that creates a lose-lose situation. The state loses money and young people lose out on learning ways to stay safe and healthy.”

Background Information: Support for comprehensive sex education programs

A survey of parents in Roanoke city shows that 80% believe comprehensive sex education should be taught to students. http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/258761

Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine rejected abstinence-only funding on the basis that such programs were not successful. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/20/AR2007112001794.html

A report for Representative Henry A. Waxman shows that abstinence-only curricula are fraught with medically inaccurate and misleading information about contraception and sexually transmitted infections. http://www.csulb.edu/~nmatza/powerpoint/HSc411BAssign/Course%20Docs/Abstinence%20Only/abstin.only.wax2007.pdf

After years of Bush administration support for abstinence-only programs, teen pregnancy rates are on the rise. http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1487&Itemid=177#ref

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