Monday, November 06, 2006

Abstinence Forever

USA today reports that the federal government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs because unmarried women in the 20-29 year age group are having children.

But really, why stop at 29? I bet there are 30 year old women, even perhaps 35 and 40 year old unmarried women having sex, and having babies too.

I don't know if it was taken out of context, but Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at the Department of Health and Human Services, was quoted in the article as saying: "The message is 'It's better to wait until you're married to bear or father children,' " Horn said. "The only 100% effective way of getting there is abstinence."

The only 100% effective way of getting "there" - meaning to be married with children? - is abstinence??? Has HHS decided to totally abandon evidence, and pursue its ideological goals untethered to data? The article goes on to say:

The revised guidelines specify that states seeking grants are "to identify groups ... most likely to bear children out-of-wedlock, targeting adolescents and/or adults within the 12- through 29-year-old age range." Previous guidelines didn't mention targeting of an age group.

"We wanted to remind states they could use these funds not only to target adolescents," Horn said. "It's a reminder."

Last year, 46 states applied for the federal abstinence-education money, to fund programs in schools, neighborhood clubs and faith-based organizations.

Hmmm, so if HHS is telling states they can target 29 year olds with abstinence messages, how will they do that: schools? probably not. Neighborhood clubs? doubtful. Faith-based organizations? Bingo.

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