WASHINGTON, February 15, 2002 ( – US Secretary of State Colin Powell, outraged conservatives and pro-family groups with comments on a global forum with young people broadcast internationally by MTV. Sounding more like a Planned Parenthood representative than a Representative of the Bush Administration and Republican Party, Powell pontificated:

“It is important that the whole international community come together, speak candidly about it, forget about taboos, forget about conservative ideas with respect to what you should tell young people about. It’s the lives of young people that are put at risk by unsafe sex. And, therefore, protect yourself.” On condoms, Powell said, “I not only support their use, I encourage their use among people who are sexually active and need to protect themselves.”

Focus on the Family President Dr. James C. Dobson strongly denounced Powell’s remarks and called on President Bush to “publicly repudiate these statements immediately”. Dobson said, “Colin Powell is the Secretary of State, not the Secretary of Health. He clearly doesn’t understand the science regarding condom efficacy.”

Bradley Beck, M.D., medical issues advisor for Focus on the Family, noted Powell’s ignorance of the facts: “It would have been nice if Colin Powell had read the condom efficacy report published last year by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and other government health agencies. The study showed no data proving condom efficacy for most sexually transmitted diseases. Powell’s comments fly in the face of that report.” The study, released in July 2001, is titled, “Scientific Evidence on Condom Effectiveness for Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention.”

See the coverage in the Washington Post and Dobson’s release: