-- don't do it --
survive after the GOP-led Congress,
with a Democrat's help
WASHINGTON -- In the 1990s, amid a growing culture war over the role of religion and morality in public policy, Republicans used their congressional majorities to crank up funding for programs that encouraged teens to abstain from sex until marriage.
But now, though Democrats have taken control of Congress, abstinence-only programs are surviving attempts to shut them down. And they could even get an increase with the aid of an unlikely ally: House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey (D-Wis.), one of the old liberal lions.
"We're expecting funding to be pretty comparable to what it was in the past," said Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Assn. "Those who oppose abstinence education are probably more surprised than I am."
Democrats have long criticized the programs, saying they're ineffective in combating teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases because they do not include instruction in the use of condoms.Expectations that a Democratic-controlled Congress would gut abstinence-only education rose this spring after a major federally funded study concluded that such programs do not appear to have any effect on sexual abstinence among youth, nor on age of sexual initiation or number of sex partners....
This from the Los Angeles Times; Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.