Rick Perry boasts personal experience to claim success of Texas abstinence-only sex ed programs

In what has to be one of the most moronic answers to a basic and serious question about the effectiveness of abstinence-only sex ed in a state that ranks #3 in the number of teen pregnancies and No. 1 in repeat teen pregnancies, Governor Rick Perry cites his personal experience, not statistics, to claim these ridiculous programs are working.

Texas is doing as little as possible to help women – especially young women – avoid unwanted pregnancy. For one thing, it’s extremely tough for teenagers to get contraceptives in Texas. “If you are a kid, even in college, if it’s state-funded you have to have parental consent,” said Susan Tortolero, director of the Prevention Research Center at the University of Texas in Houston.

“Abstinence works,” said Governor Perry during a televised interview with Evan Smith of The Texas Tribune.

“But we have the third highest teen pregnancy rate among all states in the country,” Smith responded.

“It works,” insisted Perry.

“Can you give me a statistic suggesting it works?” asked Smith.

“I’m just going to tell you from my own personal life. Abstinence works,” said Perry, doggedly.

Do we now have to ask Governor Good Hair about the details of his personal experience in order to analyze why abstinence-only is effective for the entire Lone Star State as the babies continue to be popped out by teens?
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  David Taffet

Legislation Introduced to Defund Abstinence-Only Sex Education

Yesterday, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced the Repealing Ineffective and Incomplete Abstinence-Only Program Funding Act (the  Act), which would end abstinence-only-until-marriage programs once and for all.  HRC has long opposed federal funding for abstinence-only programs because they exclude, or even denigrate, LGBT students.  These programs are prohibited by law from discussing contraceptive use and exclude, by design, LGBT youth because marriage is unavailable to LGBT individuals in most parts of the country.

Since 1996, Congress has spent almost .5 billion on abstinence-only programs, despite a wealth of evidence that they are ineffective.  In fact, no study in a professional peer-reviewed journal has found abstinence-only programs to be broadly effective.  While our Congress searches to ensure that every tax dollar is spent in an effective manner, the Act furthers this pursuit by defunding a program that has not been proven effective.

The Act would strip Title V from the Social Security Act, and rescind million that has been appropriated to abstinence-only programs.  In addition, it would provide for 5 million in funds for the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), which provides for comprehensive, evidence-based efforts to prevent teen pregnancy and reduce sexually-transmitted infections.  Currently, PREP is funded at million, so the Act would increase this funding by million.

Our nation’s youth deserve the facts about how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.   It is time for Congress to ensure that our students are no longer subjugated to ineffective abstinence-only programs.  HRC thanks Senator Lautenberg and Representative Lee for their continued support of comprehensive and medically accurate sex education.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright