It’s still pretty early in 2013, and it’s already been quite a year for the culture war, hasn’t it? Despite public attitudes and last year’s election results, we’re still seeing Republican policymakers ban abortion rights, reject marriage equality, go after contraception access, and target Planned Parenthood – and we’re only three months into the year.
I suppose, then, it shouldn’t be too surprising that abstinence-only and sex-ed remain conservative priorities.
In addition to passing some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation so far this year, Republican lawmakers in North Dakota, Arkansas and Texas are now pushing bills that would defund comprehensive sex education programs for at-risk teenagers.
The North Dakota legislature is currently considering an amendment to an anti-abortion bill that would effectively block a $1.2 million federal grant for a sex education program for teens who are homeless or in foster programs. […]
Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager for the Guttmacher Institute, told reporters on Monday that North Dakota is the first state ever to go after a sex education program that is fully funded by the federal government. “This is incredibly unusual,” she said. “No state has tried to block a comprehensive sex education program like this, ever.”
And it’s not just a state-level issue, either – U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) is pushing a half-billion-dollar federal project to “educate” teenagers on why they shouldn’t have sex.
How’s that rebranding effort going, Reince?
In case policy still matters, Brian Tashman recently explained, “Far from having ‘incredible success records,’ abstinence programs have a history of failure. Reports have consistently found that there is no evidence to support the claim that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs reduce premarital sex or teen pregnancy; on the other hand, studies show that comprehensive sex-ed decreases the rate of teen pregnancy and STDs.”