We here at IWHC are big fans of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), so we’re all poised with our dialing fingers at the ready for National Comprehensive Sexuality Education Call-in Day, which is today, Wednesday, October 28th. Call or email your Senators to tell them not to reinstate abstinence-only funding. There has been a lot of buzz lately about the Hatch Amendment, which would create a 50 million dollar funding stream for abstinence-only programs. We were thrilled when the Obama administration zeroed out funding for ab-only in their budget earlier this year, but Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) apparently didn’t share our jubilation. Thankfully, Chairman Baucus of the Senate Finance Committee countered with an amendment to support evidence-based sexuality education programs, also to the tune of 50 million. The dueling amendments will still face the full House and Senate as they keep fighting out healthcare reform, so make sure your representative knows which one you think should win. Need more information? Choice USA’s handy toolkit for call-in day offers a call script and these talking points:
• Health Care Reform is a critically important task for this Congress and it should not be hijacked by ideologically motivated earmarks.
• The Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program expired on June 30th and, at that time, had been refused by nearly half of the states both because of the restrictive nature of the program and the fact that overwhelming evidence has proven these programs to be ineffective and a waste of taxpayer dollars.
• The federal government’s own study of the Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program found these programs to be completely ineffective at their stated goals.
• Moreover, study after study has shown that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs have no effect whatsoever.
• It is time for the federal government to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on these failed programs.
• I stand with the millions of Americans who support teaching both abstinence and contraception. Nationwide polls show that eight-in-ten voters want young people to receive a comprehensive approach to sex education that includes teaching about both abstinence and contraception.
Did I mention that today is National Comprehensive Sexuality Education Call-in Day? Call 1-888-423-5983 to reach your Senators’ office – tell the switchboard what state you’re from and they’ll connect you. You have to go through the process twice if you want to talk to both of your Senators. Tell him or her all about why they should choose the Baucus amendment while striking down the Hatch amendment. Then tell a friend or 20 to do the same.