It is about time that someone stops throwing more money down the abstinence-only sex education rat hole. I am happy to see that Virginia's Governor is joining those in the in the forefront of rejecting this non-productive, charity handout of tax dollars to Christianist organizations. No doubt the Christianist wingnuts at The Family Foundation (Daddy Dobson's Virginia affiliate) and within the leadership of the Republican Party of Virginia will be having vapors. (NOTE: the above photo is dedicated to Victoria Cobb at the Family Foundation) Here are highlights from the Washington Post ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/12/AR2007111201716.html?hpid=sec-education):
RICHMOND, Nov. 12 -- Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has cut off state funding for abstinence-only sex education programs, citing recent studies finding that teenagers should also be taught about birth control and condoms to protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Kaine (D) submitted plans last month to close a budget shortfall in part by eliminating a $275,000 matching grant for a federal program that provided funds for 14 nonprofit groups that taught abstinence only.
Delacey Skinner, Kaine's communications director, said the governor believes that effective sex education programs must include information about contraceptives as well as abstinence. "The governor supports abstinence-based education, but the governor wants to see us funding programs that are evidenced-based," said Skinner, who added that Virginia will now offer "more comprehensive" sex education.
With the move, Virginia becomes the 14th state to refuse to support abstinence-only education. Several social conservatives reacted angrily, accusing Kaine and Planned Parenthood of hiding his decision until after the Nov. 6 election. Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax) said he will try to get the General Assembly to reverse Kaine's decision when it convenes in January. "The longer you delay the commencement of sexual activity, you have healthier and happier kids and more successful kids," said Cuccinelli, a conservative who beat his Democratic challenger this year by 92 votes, pending a possible recount.
Reid said last week's election, in which Democrats took control of the state Senate and made gains in the House, confirms that voters support Kaine's approach. "People are tired of ideology. We want common-sense approaches to issues," Reid said. "Governor Kaine took a common-sense approach. We have a budget shortfall. This program has not shown to be effective in any way."
Reid and Skinner cited a study released in April that was commissioned by Congress. In the study, Mathematica Policy Research Inc. concluded that students in abstinence-only programs had similar numbers of sexual partners and first had sex at the same age as those who did not participate in the programs.