Press Conference: Kaine's Rationale Neither Logical Nor FactualNov 20, 2007
Previous posts here have documented the white-is-black, black-is-white, we'll-tell-you-what-it-is-you-mean, these-are-the-facts (even when the facts prove the opposite) discourse of liberalism these days. Could anything more resemble this than Governor Tim Kaine's rationale for cutting the $275,000 in abstinence education? He flatly says abstinence education does not work. Even the Virginia Department of Health says otherwise. The most extensive longitudinal study on abstinence education says otherwise. Many more peer reviewed studies confirm the success of abstinence education.
As Attorney General Bob McDonnell asked at today's press conference, why is it the policy of government to prevent at-risk youth from committing crime, but not from getting pregnant or sexually transmitted diseases? The characteristics are the same, the AG noted: Stay away from bad circumstances, dubious people, questionable activity, indeed, abstain from crime and you avoid a lot of heartache to you and your family, and spare society the costs associated with a crumbling culture. McDonnell explained how the GRIP program in the city of Richmond has drastically reduced crime among young people with these parallel principles to abstinence education. So why is educating children about abstaining from sexual activity any different than educating them about abstaining from criminal activity? Both activities stunt the lives of our young.
If McDonnell deflated the governor's reasoning with logic, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling did it with figures: From 1995-2005, Virginia saw an 18.5 percent decrease in teen pregnancies, no small achievement. Studies by both the federal and state governments echo each other: Children are receptive to abstinence-only education and respond positively to it. Bolling also offered this dose of commonsense: Why deny parents and students the option? (Whatever happened to choice, governor?)
More statistics, these from Horizons Unlimited, whose VIP program is a model of success: Since it started its Title V program in Hampton, that city has dropped from the highest HIV rate in Virginia to one of the lowest; among teens there has been an 18 percent increase in abstinence approval, 13 percent increase in the understanding of the consequences of unmarried pregnancies and a 17 percent increase in understanding of what it takes to be a success in life.This from June Sullivan, with whom maybe the governor should talk, since she is on the front lines and has seen the positive results. This is a "misguided decision," she said, against the devastation of "fatherless children, poverty, pain and shame."
Opponents say, "Kids are going to have sex anyway, so we need to teach them about contraception." Hmmm. There are at-risk youth everyday tempted to do life-destroying drugs. Do we teach them to do it safely? Use clean needles, or no needles at all? Why does Planned Parenthood continue to get taxpayer funded grants, and don't they have a conflict of interest (i.e., sexual activity leads to pregnancies, which leads to abortions)?
Maybe nothing proves the "ounce of prevention" axiom more than an organization so determined to eliminate abstinence education so as it preserve its abortion factory business model.