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Advocates for Youth President Urges Congress to Fund Sex Education Programs and Research on Teen Sexuality
Advocates for Youth President
James Wagoner called on President-elect Bush and the new Congress yesterday to shift funding from abstinence-only sex education programs to programs that include information on contraception and STDs. Wagoner and Advocates for Youth urged Congress to redirect the $250 million in federal funds spent on abstinence-only programs to programs that "are scientifically proven to reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS and other STDs." Wagoner also pointed to a recent Alan Guttmacher Institutereport revealing a "lack of solid, national data" on the number of adolescents engaging in
oral sex. "It's ironic that the very politicians charged with protecting American teens from sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, have created policies that block two of the most effective methods of prevention -- comprehensive sexuality education and scientific public health research," Wagoner said. "Accus[ing]" Congress of "shirking its duty to a vulnerable population," Wagoner asked, "How many reports must be released, how many young lives must be threatened, before politicians will support realistic sexuality education and scientific research into adolescent sexual behavior?" He concluded, "It is unacceptable for Congress to continue to fund programs that leading scientific and public health organizations have found to be ineffective and to refuse funding for research that is critical to preventing disease in American young people. The Bush administration and the new Congress must act as the research directs and they must do it now" (Advocates for Youth release, 12/19).
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