Virginia Governor called “very liberal, extremist” For Cancelling Abstinence-Only Education Funding
By Hilary White
RICHMOND, Virginia, November 14, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The governor of Virginia, Timothy M. Kaine, has cancelled state funding for abstinence-only sex education projects in schools. In what the governor’s office called a “cost cutting measure,” Kaine introduced a budget amendment that cancels a $275,000 matching grant for a federal program that funds 14 non-profit groups that taught abstinence only. Victoria Cobb, executive director of the Family Foundation of Virginia, said Kaine “professes to be a moderate and a man of faith, yet he is taking this very liberal, extremist position. The governor is choosing politics and playing to his base.”
In addition to the funding cancellation, the state will introduce “more comprehensive” sex-education of the type that abstinence-only programmes were designed to correct. Federal funding for sex-education can only be used for programmes that teach abstinence before and faithfulness in marriage as the best way to eliminate unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
While claiming to support abstinence-based education, a spokesman told the Washington Post, the governor “wants to see us funding programs that are evidenced-based.” The reference is to a single study commissioned by The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that claimed abstinence-only education was ineffective.
Planned Parenthood of Virginia praised the decision but some House members said they would try to block the budget amendment. “When it comes to sex, Democrats can’t think straight,” said Del. Robert G. Marshall.
The proposed budget amendments must be approved by the General Assembly after it convenes in January. Some are accusing Kaine, who claims to be a Catholic, of withholding the announcement of the funding cut until after recent elections.
The study cited by Governor Kaine was commissioned from Mathematica Policy Research and concluded abstinence-only programmes were ineffective at preventing teenage sexual activity. But the study examined only four out of 700 federally funded abstinence-only programs since 1998, and has come under criticism for cherry-picking evidence.
Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA), said, “The field of abstinence has significantly grown and evolved since that time.” She pointed to more than thirty studies that showed positive results. “The results demonstrated in the Mathematica study are not representative of the abstinence-education community as a whole,” Hubert said. Another survey found that eight of 10 Virginia parents want their children to be taught abstinence as part of a comprehensive sex-education program.
Linda Klepacki, at Focus on the Family Action, asked why abstinence programmes have been singled out for re-evaluation. Many studies have shown strong correlations between the massive increase in teenage pregnancy rates and rates of sexually transmitted diseases and modern sex education programmes emphasizing promiscuous sex, condoms and abortion.
“Why are abstinence programs the only type of sex education being targeted for evaluation?” Klepacki asked. “We call for the immediate evaluation of all sex-education programs to determine medical accuracy and the effectiveness of programs in decreasing teen sexual-activity rates, teen-pregnancy rates and sexually transmitted infection rates.”
But with a Democrat-controlled Congress, some analysts say that government bias in favour of sex education and the entire sexual revolution agenda will only increase.
Bass says the determination of liberals, mostly Democrats, in the US federal government, to exalt the values of the sexual revolution is starting to threaten civil liberties. “That reality reflects a political, legal and cultural force that has been gaining steam for decades – the exaltation of free sex and sexual deviancy above virtually every other right in American life, especially religious freedom.”
To contact Governor Kaine’s office:
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 1475
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 786-2211
Fax: (804) 371-6351