New York Times Profiles Advocates for Youth’s James Wagoner
The New York Times today features a profile of James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, and his group's efforts to "topple barriers -- legal, social and emotional -- to informing young people about sexuality." Advocates for Youth has "squared off" against the Bush administration, which has taken a "sharp right turn" on reproductive health issues with moves to "curtail" contraceptive access among low-income women, promote abstinence-only education in schools, and reinstate the "Mexico City" policy, which prohibits U.S. funding for overseas groups that use their own money to provide or advocate abortion services. In particular, Advocates for Youth has "sounded alarms" about the administration's plans to double to $135 million spending on abstinence-only education programs, which forbid contraceptive counseling for students, "at a time when those under 25 make up half of newly reported cases of HIV." Citing a lack of "broadly accepted studies" that prove abstinence-only programs are effective, Wagoner said, "I don't think Advocates arrived at this position of challenging the Bush administration as a political strategy. We arrived there somewhat inevitably by supporting research-based public health policy" (Schemo, New York Times, 8/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.