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The House Gets It Right February 28, 2009

Posted by Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy in Annoucements.
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Yesterday the House of Representatives passed the omnibus funding bill–not the budget that the President is sending to Congress today, but a bill appropriating money for federal agencies to keep operating until September 30, the end of fiscal year 2009. The bill now goes to the Senate and could be swiftly signed by the President if there are no amendments to debate.
The omnibus funding bill includes an increase in funds for family planning programs, such as Title X at home, and the United Nations Population Fund abroad. It fixes a problem with the price of birth control for family-planning clinics and student health centers, a problem that meant increased prices for contraception just when we didn’t need increases.
Perhaps most encouraging to CFI supporters of real sex education for adolescents, the omnibus spending bill cuts funds for so-called “abstinence-only sex education” by $14 million.
The bill increases spending on domestic programs by eight percent for the current fiscal year. For reproductive health, they got it right!


U.S.Administration Withholds Contraception from African Countries October 7, 2008

Posted by Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy in Uncategorized.
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Women in six African countries–Ghana, Malawi,Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe–will be denied birth control because the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is demanding that their governments terminate a British program, Marie Stopes International, that supplies contraceptives.
USAID erroneously charges that Marie Stopes International cooperates with the Chinese government on “coercive abortion and involuntary sterlizations.” This charge has been repeated over the years against organizations supplying birth control to needy women in developing countries and is both baseless and damaging.
Women in poor African countries face unintended pregnancy (often beginning early in their adolescence), unsafe abortion, childbirth injuries, and sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS. Birth control can help with all these, as well as the gender inequities that exacerbate them. Restricting or removing access to contraception increases poverty, disease, and early death in these countries.
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Ignorance can kill July 1, 2008

Posted by Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy in Action Item, Commentary.
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More on abstinence only and its harmful effects on our young people: on June 1, the Washington Post reported on the Parents for Truth campaign which is being launched by the National Abstinence Association. The association sent out an e-mail to organize 1 million parents nationwide to lobby their local schools for abstinence-only sex education instead of “real sex” education.

We posted a lengthy blog (May 5 2008) on the perils of abstinence-only education. We urge you to take every opportunity to monitor sex education in your local schools and make sure our adolescents are learning about “real sex” and effective contraceptive methods.

Meanwhile, another threat, from a movement called “The Pill Kills.” Of course the pill doesn’t kill–but ignorance can. The anti-abortion movement is now becoming the anti-contraception movement, spreading false rumors about how contraception works and equating it with abortion.

Why? It’s fundamentally an assault on women, a religiously based attempt to get us all back into long dresses, the kitchen, and servitude. It’s also an assault on children, because children whose births are planned and who are wanted by their parents thrive and become responsible adults; children who arrive unbidden and unwanted disproportionately populate our prisons.

Have the abstinence-only people thought of that?