Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Lee Terry: Poster Child for Abstinence

by Kyle Michaelis
Rep. Lee Terry Explains Female Anatomy

You already know how I feel about abstinence-only education, but look who we have to thank for this on-going exercise in moralistic quackery - none other than Omaha's Repbulican Congessman Lee Terry.

The Omaha World-Herald reports:
Rep. Lee Terry has long supported programs that promote sexual abstinence for teenagers, and now the Nebraska Republican is taking a lead role on the issue.

With the program's main backer retired, Terry is joining with Pennsylvania Republican Joe Pitts to press colleagues who hold Congress' purse strings to set aside $115 million for such courses in 2006, an $11 million increase.

Terry and Pitts recently authored a letter that 42 other House members signed on to, supporting the programs.

However, Terry doubts the increase will happen this year because of the billions needed to rebuild the Gulf Coast after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. "These type of programs are not going to see increases," he said.

Still, Terry hopes the letter will show House members' interest in the program.

He said federal studies have shown that abstinence education can be effective in reducing early sexual activity, teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. As a result, he said, school districts and local organizations should be able to teach abstinence if they wish.

The program has drawn fire from Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat.

A report he commissioned in December determined that 80 percent of the curricula funded by the program contained basic scientific factual errors, distorted information about the effectiveness of contraceptives, misrepresented the risks of abortion, blurred religion and science and treated stereotypes about boys and girls as basic facts.

Waxman said that as a result, the programs cannot be shown to have reduced teen pregnancy or diseases.

"Something is seriously wrong when federal tax dollars are being used to mislead kids about basic health facts," he said at the time.

Of course, Terry isn't really anything more than a cheerleader for this silly program that comes at the expense of our children's self-conception, maturation, and basic health, but that's more than sin enough.

Boosting funding for actual sex education is one thing but, with current federal law prohibiting such funds from going to any program but those that propagate a narrow and fearful view of human sexuality, this is an outrage.

Moreover, Terry's attempt to frame this as a matter of school choice in the above article is just pathetically deceptive since he and his fellow sexual McCarthyites have used this funding as leverage to cut-off and destroy any sex ed program that does not meet their high standards for abusing facts. They have made a stand against school choice and against schools doing their actual job - teaching - in favor of brainwashing and misinformation.

When we disrespect our youth like this, we dishonor ourselves and demean the entire nation. One day, the young will not only laugh at our ignorance but may rightfully hate us for our forcing it upon them. After all, they are the ones who will pay the price - not the Lee Terrys of the world.


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