Friday, October 2, 2009

Speak Up and Urge Your Senators to Eliminate Harmful Abstinence-Only Programs

It's been a 10-year fight to end funding for damaging and ineffective abstinence-only education programs – programs that completely ignore and dismiss the existence of LGBT youth, the realities of their lives and their critical health information needs. President Obama has called to eliminate abstinence-only programs, and Democrats in the House and Senate have held firm through budget negotiations. And yet…

Despite all of these efforts, funding for abstinence-only-until marriage programs is back. On Wednesday evening, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) pushed through an amendment in the Senate Finance Committee authorizing $50 million in funding for abstinence-only programs as part of Health Care Reform - despite more than 10 years of evidence that these programs do not work!

By a razor-thin vote of 12-11, the Senators on the Finance Committee conceded to this dangerous ideology ensuring a victory over science and common sense. With the passage of the Hatch Amendment, the bill advances to the full Senate for a vote, which is why it is more important than ever that we send a clear message to the United States Senate: Abstinence-only-until-marriage programs were—and continue to be—a dangerous experiment, spreading ignorance instead of education. It’s time to move education forward. Together, we can end these harmful programs.

We are too close to finally ending federal funding for failed abstinence-only programs. Please click on TAKE ACTION and tell your Senators it's time to stop these programs once and for all!
In an effort to defeat this amendment and ensure the passage of the Real Education about Life (REAL) Act of 2009, PFLAG continues to work with coalition partners around the country. We recently supported the launch of the October National Sex Education Month of Action, in an effort to build support in Congress and across the country for the REAL Act and comprehensive sex education.

This fight has been long, but with the end in sight it is more important than ever that we make our voices heard. Please be sure to take the following steps:

• Email your Senators. To learn the name of your U.S. Senators and locate their in-district contact information, go to http://capwiz.com/pflag/dbq/officials/ and enter your zip code.

• Bring the Message Home. Please be sure to visit www.thomas.gov and type in S. 611 to see if your Senators have co-sponsored the REAL Act of 2009; if they have, please be sure to thank them when sending the note below. If they haven’t, please encourage them to co-sponsor this bill with the following message:

Subject: Don’t Fail Our Children: Please Strip the Hatch Amendment from Health Care Reform
As a member of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, I am shocked and outraged that the Senate Finance Committee passed the Hatch Amendment earlier this week, reinstating $50 million in funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs as part of Health Care Reform.

As your constituent and as someone who cares about the future of young people in the United States, I am writing to ask you to strip the Hatch Amendment from the final Health Care Reform bill in the Senate. Health Care Reform is a critically important task for this Congress and it should not be hijacked by ideologically-motivated earmarks. Moreover, study after study has shown that abstinence-only 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. A 2004 survey by National Public Radio/Kaiser Family Foundation /Harvard University Kennedy School of Government found that 86 percent of voters want young people to receive a comprehensive approach to sex education that includes learning about both abstinence and contraception.

Abstinence-only-until-marriage programs ignore scientific research, the recommendations of medical experts, overwhelming public opinion, and basic common sense.

As Health Care Reform moves forward in the Senate, you have the power to stand up for our children and strip the Hatch Amendment from the final bill.

Young people all across America are counting on you to do the right thing. And so am I.

Thank you
Your Name, PFLAG Member

Email now and continue to email your Senators until they vote on this bill.

Please be sure to let us know when you reach out to your Senator (and if you get a response) by contacting us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

UNfortunatelu, most of our legislators do not know the meaning of the word 'abstinence'.