Senate Committee votes to restore abstinence-only money

This one makes me nauseous.

A Senate committee voted Tuesday night to restore $50 million a year in federal funding for abstinence-only education that President Barack Obama has pushed to eliminate.
The 12-11 vote by the Senate Finance Committee came over objections from its chairman, Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana.
Two Democrats – Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas – joined all 10 committee Republicans in voting “yes” on the measure by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah.
The measure would still have to pass the full House and Senate. Hatch said abstinence education had been shown to work, though Baucus disagreed. Obama had proposed in his 2010 budget to direct money spent on abstinence-only education to broader teen pregnancy-reduction programs.

I’m so upset about the health care reform process that at this point I can’t even keep track. Republicans are so up in arms about government spending, but they’ll throw millions of dollars at a backwards misinformed program about abstinence that doesn’t work. I give up.
Also passed last night:

An alternate measure offered by Baucus also passed. Baucus’ measure, which passed 14-9, would make money available for education on contraception and sexually transmitted diseases, among other things, in addition to abstinence. Lawmakers will have to reconcile the two measures, both approved during debate on a sweeping health overhaul bill, as the legislation moves forward.

Via Huffington Post

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14 Comments

  1. Alessa
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    This is completely ridiculous. As someone who went through abstinence-only education, I know it’s a load of bullshit that people think it works. My friend got pregnant using the “pull-out” method (IE the non-existent method). Thank god I smarted up and decided they were crazy and went on the internet for my info. The only scary thing about that, though, is a lot of the info I could have had would have been terribly off.
    This is complete BULLSHIT.

  2. starryeyed.kid21
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Well, the pull-out method can be effective if both partners are *very* in tune with their bodies. Most teenagers aren’t at that point.
    But I agree. This is bullshit. I’ve started to hate the Senate in the past twenty-four hours.

  3. Alessa
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Ahhh the only reason I’m replying is because it’s unfortunately not something that works. Because guys have pre-cum at any point during intercourse, which has sperm in it, which will get you pregnant.
    I wish it weren’t the case, but alas it is.

  4. Alice
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Republicans are so up in arms about government spending, but they’ll throw millions of dollars at a backwards misinformed program about abstinence that doesn’t work.
    The degree of government spending that people are up in arms about makes mere millions insignificant in comparison. That case is best made in this illustrative video.
    Of course, to further the above analogy I oppose the existence of the debt car period (the government can’t spend money it doesn’t have on stupid stuff like abstinence education), but taking for granted that it is going to exist, I’d prefer the more reasonable speeds of past regimes.

  5. feminismforever
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Actually, more recent research has found that it is more effective than previously thought. Here’s a NY Times article on it, but there’s a lot more information out there: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/21/health/21cond.html

  6. alixana
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Aside from feministmforever’s link, you can also search this very website for an article from not that long ago about this new research, and how the researchers were being attacked for daring to share their findings.

  7. MLEmac28
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    arrrrrgh
    Why Blanche why?
    That is why I vote green in Arkansas politics. Even our democrat representatives make me want to punch shit.

  8. Alessa
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Well then I stand corrected. And I’m happy for it, frankly, because that is a relief.

  9. animaltalker
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    This is ludicrous. The state of Texas just admitted that abstinence only isn’t working. When those folks admit defeat you KNOW change is needed.
    http://www.examiner.com/x-2154-Liberal-Examiner~y2009m9d29-Abstinence-only-abandoned-in-Ws-own-backyard

  10. ooperbooper
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    This is slightly unrelated but hopefully relevant.
    If there’s anything the last few months of healtcare debate has taught me, it’s that grassroots efforts cannot combat crazy. Meaning that no matter how much money I donate to Planned Parenthood or how many rallies I attend/organize it makes little to no difference when it comes to what happens in congress and in the media. That’s not to say that I’m going to stop giving money or attending rallies but Jesus Christ it’s frustrating. I think Planned Parenthood (and other pro-choice organizations as well) are arguably more organized than they’ve ever been thanks to email updates and internet action calls, etc. However what we’re seeing from anti-choice conservatives is that there’s no need to organize (or at least not in the traditional sense). They aren’t trying to pass any legislation, they’re just trying to block. They don’t stand for anything, they just stand against anything that could be generally interpreted as liberal. It’s an exercise in getting as many people as possible to believe the crazy and then insisting that they’re only speaking for their constituents as they roll back progressive legislation.
    This is a rant and I apologize for that. I just know that there are a lot of other activists here and I’m sure you’re feeling the frustration as well. How are we going to turn this around? We are obviously organized… I’m just not feeling particularly effective at the moment.

  11. Comrade Kevin
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Don’t stress yet. There is still plenty of time for people to get their acts together. Remember how Obama himself said that this reform would be pronounced dead four or five times before it was passed and ready for the President’s signature.

  12. ooperbooper
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    That’s somewhat comforting Comrade Kevin, but it’s my job to stress about this stuff.

  13. Judith
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Well, hold up a minute, here. The article states at the end:
    “Baucus’ measure, which passed 14-9, would make money available for education on contraception and sexually transmitted diseases, among other things, in addition to abstinence. Lawmakers will have to reconcile the two measures, both approved during debate on a sweeping health overhaul bill, as the legislation moves forward.”
    Both measures passed and the comprehensive one with more support than the abstinence-only option. In my opinion, it is not that outrageous to offer both teachings as an option. While abstinence only education is often detrimental, it can be helpful to some students. I say this only because I went through high school without having sex and made a point to educate myself on contraception. However, at the time, I felt a lot of pressure to have sex and I think having abstinence as an option was a good thing for me personally.
    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with teaching abstinence as ONE method among MANY.

  14. Smartpatrol
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Look in the bright side: we get to mock the Abstinence Clown all over again.

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