ABSTINENCE EDUCATION UNDER ASSAULT

school.pngThe election campaign may be over, but the battle over beliefs never stops.   With their small victory at the polls, the Democratic Party feels newly empowered.  Here is an email from Bob FitzSimmonds that addresses their latest attack on our values. 

Background on Abstinence based Family Life Education

Under the leadership of Governor Gilmore, Virginia instituted the Virginia Abstinence Initiative. Since then abstinence only programs have operated across the Commonwealth. This week, Governor Kaine announced that he was terminating the funding for these programs to help close a supposed budget “shortfall”. Kaine asserts that he has no data showing that these programs work.

Let me start by noting that I am the executive director of KISSN/NOVA, Inc., an abstinence education program that has presented to thousands of students in the Fauquier County schools over an eight year period and has recently begun presenting to students in Prince William County. The funding that is now being threatened by Kaine was used in part to conduct longitudinal studies on the impact of abstinence education programs on the students in the program.

This data has been suppressed by both Governors Kaine and Warner. After years of waiting, I sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Department of Health, requesting the release of this data. Administration officials at the Health Department were so insistent on suppressing the data that they ignored two different FOIA requests for information and conducted a series of meetings with me and my colleagues aimed at getting us to withdraw the FOIA requests. All along the assertion was that they were preparing to release the data to have “maximum impact”. While we never believed these assertions, we did attempt to be good team players.

If Governor Kaine is unaware of data showing the effectiveness of abstinence until marriage programs it is because his own administration has suppressed the results of the commonwealth sponsored research. Of more concern is the possibility that he is fully aware of this data and choosing to ignore it in an effort to advance his political agenda. Under his predecessor, Governor Warner, the highly successful Fatherhood Initiative was canceled for “lack of effectiveness” despite evidence to the contrary. I hope our General Assembly will not let the Governor play politics with the Commonwealth’s budget or our children’s health. At the very least, we should be asking why the same office that is now saying abstinence education does not work, last year released a report praising the results of abstinence education in Virginia’s schools.

Please take a moment and contact your state senator and/or delegate and express your support for abstinence based family life education programs.

Bob FitzSimmonds

Here (and here) are some press reports.  Here, here, and here are some blog commentaries.

What I find curious is how some people insist abstinence education is a waste.  These same folks insist instead on passing out condoms and morning-after pills. 

Supposedly, abstinence education is foolishness.  Only permissive immorality acknowledges reality.  The permissiveness advocates skip over any discussion of what gives them the right to interfere with the parent’s obligation to educate a child.  This trick loses us in the details.  We end up missing the forest for the trees.

Why is government telling parents how children should be educated?  When so few of us trust politicians, why do we trust them with something so precious as the education of children?

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