10-Year evaluation of abstinence-only programs comes up empty
Apr 13,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

$1.5 billion in public spending on programs called 'historic ideological boondoggle'

Citing the release of a 10-year government funded study of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs showing the programs did not impact teen behavior, James Wagoner, President of Advocates for Youth, said: "After 10 years and $1.5 billion in public funds these failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs will go down as an ideological boondoggle of historic proportions."

 
James Wagoner (left), President of Advocates for Youth 
"The tragedy is not simply the waste of taxpayer dollars, it is the damage done to the young people who have been on the receiving end of distorted, inaccurate information about condoms and birth control. We have been promoting ignorance in the era of AIDS, and that's not just bad public health policy, its bad ethics."

Noting that the study was posted on a Government web-site with no press release or advisory, Wagoner said: "The 'stealth release' of this study on an obscure government website on a Friday afternoon is clearly meant to bury its contents. But policy makers must now know that funds for these programs must now be eliminated."

Citing the fact that the Institute of Medicine, the nation's leading health authority, had called for the elimination of these programs, back in 2000, Wagoner said: "Congress must now move to de-fund these programs. Anything short of eliminating these programs would be a dereliction of its duty to promote public health and protect young people in the era of AIDS."