May 12, 2009

Abortion and Abstinence: Where the Funds Go

By Chuck Missler

Planned Parenthood is in trouble in Kansas, where the state's lawmakers voted on a budget amendment that ultimately defunds the organization. Eleven hundred miles away, President Obama's 2010 budget would nix abstinence-only education in public schools, and put the money into "comprehensive" sex ed programs. Politicians can talk about policy until the end of the world, but ultimately, it's what they fund that affects our daily lives.

The Kansas state House passed a bill May 1 that will make it more difficult for Planned Parenthood to get grants for family planning. The $2.4 million in federal aid would instead go to hospitals, clinics and public health departments, pretty much leaving Planned Parenthood in the cold. The funds would still go toward "family planning" – but Planned Parenthood would have a harder time getting a share. Concerns over Planned Parenthood's ethics and respect for law have dampened the legislature's willingness to fund the abortion organization.

State Republican Senator Tim Huelskamp pushed for defunding in the Senate. He said,
"They were charged in the last year with 107 counts of violations of our late-term abortion laws."
Huelskamp was also displeased by Planned Parenthood's failure to protect underage girls who get pregnant by adult men. The organization's employees have demonstrated a marked reluctance to report statutory rape.
"The Planned Parenthood employee actually suggested, yes, your boyfriend, who is actually the perpetrator of the crime, actually could come in and pick up contraceptives to continue the sexual abuse," Huelskamp added.
While the budget amendment has passed both the state House and Senate, it may not get a stamp of approval from Kansas' new governor. The people of Kansas still have time to contact the governor's office regarding the bill.

In the meanwhile, President Obama's budget would pull money from abstinence-only programs for states and would dump it into comprehensive sex programs instead. The amount of federal money given to abstinence-only programs has not been very large, only about 1/12th of what has been regularly doled out to comprehensive programs. Yet, even that little bit of funds is being taken away. It is now up to the states whether they will independently fund abstinence education in their own school districts.

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) was pleased with the cuts, and said,
"For too long we wasted money on programs that are proven to be ineffective. We are finally putting sound science ahead of politics."
Ms. Slaughter echoes the opinion of many liberal politicians, but "science" may be more supportive of abstinence programs than she realizes. The National Abstinence Clearinghouse cites two studies - one by Dr. Stan Weed of the Institute of Research and Evaluation, as well as a review by Christine Kim and Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation - on 21 abstinence and virginity pledge programs, which demonstrate that a majority of these programs do have success in encouraging teens to remain abstinent longer. The teens may not all wait until marriage, but they are definitely holding off longer than teens in other sex ed programs. They are therefore protecting themselves from a host of problems in the meanwhile, and giving themselves more time to mature before engaging in sexual activity.

A great deal of attention has been given to criticizing abstinence programs, yet contraceptive programs continue to receive funds without a reasonable amount of scrutiny.
"I challenge contraceptive programs to conduct the same rigorous studies of their programs as abstinence programs do" said Leslee Unruh, President and Founder of the National Abstinence Clearinghouse.
Teen pregnancy, disease, and single parenthood are not new problems in the United States. While the Sexual Revolution promoted freedom and the power to fulfill basic desires without the chains of repressive Victorian or Christian morality… the results have been pretty dismal. Millions of children are now raised by overworked single mothers. Chlamydia and HPV are frighteningly common diseases that can cause, respectively, sterility and cervical cancer. One-in-five Americans has contracted herpes, and in New York City, that number rises to one-in-four. A vast amount of children have been aborted with the help of "family planning" organizations like Planned Parenthood.

It's no longer a matter of what happens in your bedroom stays in your bedroom. What people do in private affects the entire country, as we all deal with the major social problems that the Sexual Revolution has brought us. In the end, our children have to pay for the mistakes we make. We need to make sure that our funds go to organizations that will help our children to make better decisions, and not to those programs that will encourage them to continue in a downward spiral.

Related Links

Abstinence Programs Help Reduce Teen Sexual Activity, Two New Studies Show - Abstinence Clearinghouse Studies And Statistics : Abstinence Education: Assessing The Evidence - Abstinence Clearinghouse
KS Lawmakers Want To Defund Abortion Chain - OneNewsNow
President Obama's Budget Cuts Funding For Abstinence-Only Sex Education Programs - The NY Daily Times
Two Studies: Sexual Integrity Programs Help Reduce Teen Pregnancy (2008) - Physicians For Life
Herpes Common Among New Yorkers - NYC.Gov
House Tags Abortion Clinic - Topeka Capital-Journal
Obama Eliminates Abstinence-Only Funding In Budget - The Huffington Post