Abstinence-Only Campaign Ramps Up

As Congress debates whether to continue federal funding of abstinence-only sexuality education, the National Abstinence Education Association is launching an effort to organize a million supporters, with the help of the “Swift Boat Vets” PR firm.

Parents for Truth” apparently aims to recruit support by the same method NAEA used in a poll last year: touting salacious details supposedly drawn from comprehensive sex ed curriculum and falsely implying that abstinence programs provide comparable information about contraceptives. From Focus on the Family’s Citizenlink:

NAEA Executive Director Valerie Huber said most parents would be shocked to learn what is being taught in “comprehensive” sex-education classes.

“ ‘Comprehensive’ sex education is often very graphic and explicit,” she said. “It is not age-appropriate, and it actually encourages sexual activities that put teens at risk for not only disease, but a host of other consequences.

“With abstinence education, the purpose is to provide all of the risks associated with teen sexual activity and encourage them to wait until marriage. And while contraception can be discussed, it’s always within the context of why abstinence is the best choice.”

A recent congressional report gives us an idea of what that “context” means: condoms being discussed only to discourage their use as risky and unreliable.

While recent studies have cast doubt on the effectiveness of abstinence-only programs to such an extent that even President Bush has seemed to back away from the fight, “Parents for Truth” is looking beyond the fight over federal funding, encouraging parents to push abstinence-only on a local level. Subscribers “will be provided information on what is going on in their state, in their community,” said Huber. “[A]nd they will also receive tools so that they can fight and win battles in their own schools on behalf of their children.”