Disclaimer: I am not a professional! If you want to find a professional sex educator please look at my "Resources" page. If you have any questions, feel free to ask on my ask site: FYsexeducationquestions, though check out my FAQ first!
The Department of Health and Human Services recently announced the recipients of a $5 million federal grant designated for abstinence-only education programs. Although President Obama has opposed funding for abstinence-only programs since the beginning of his time in office, social conservatives in Congress forced a choice during the battle to pass Obama’s landmark health care reform law in 2010: in order to support extending to health coverage to more Americans, Senate Republicans demanded to deprive students of accurate and comprehensive sexual health education.
Despite the fact that abstinence-only curricula are ineffective and, in many cases — when young adults make risky sexual decisions after abstinence education fails to equip them with the resources they need — dangerous, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) used the Senate version of the health care reform bill to restore a lapsed program that provides funding for abstinence programs. President Obama eliminated the Title V Abstinence Education program in his 2010 budget, finally doing away with the steadily increasing federal funding for abstinence programs that ballooned under the George W. Bush administration. But Hatch’s bill, which narrowly squeaked by the Senate Finance Committee, forced the Obama administration to reverse that decision in order to pass health care reform.
And earlier this month, the Title V funds that Hatch insisted on tacking onto Obamacare were distributed to nine organizations that provide “mentoring, counseling and adult supervision to promote abstinence from sexual activity.” Of course, abstinence-only curricula advance those goals while neglecting to impart accurate information about methods to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as failing to include comprehensive discussions about sexuality and the LGBT community.
Although the Obama administration attempted to take a step forward by moving to eliminate Title V funds, social conservatives’ insistence on clinging to a misguided approach to sex education has brought the country right back — ensuring that federal funds will be spread over abstinence programs for the next two years. As the spokesperson for the right-wing National Abstinence Education Association put it, “[Obama administration officials] were specifically tasked by Congress to appropriate these funds for an authentic abstinence education program. So they really had no recourse but to do just that.”
You can look up here how much money is given to a certain state for a certain level of sex education and it’s RIDICULOUS how much federal funds are being spent on abstinence only education that has proven to be ineffective and really doesn’t teach a thing.
Sandra Fluke at the Democratic National Convention.
Look. I have nothing at all against Sandra Fluke personally. But nope. It couldn’t have easily been anybody else.
There are people who speak up ALL THE TIME but no one listens to them because they are black, trans, immigrant, latin@, poor, fat, etc. (unfortunately the list is long). They take big risks to speak up but they do.
And it saddens me that we have had multiple speakers at the DNC talk specifically about reproductive rights and none of them have been women/people of color. On a larger scale, it bothers the hell out of me that women/people of color are the hardest hit by anti-choice laws/regs and yet WE RARELY SEE THEIR FACES OR HEAR THEIR VOICES.
This movement and its leaders need to start (really, should already be) asking hard questions starting with: Are we just fighting for reproductive rights or are we fighting for reproductive justice? On nights like tonight, when I see Cecile Richards tweet about her younger-generation doppleganger, “Sandra Fluke speaks for the next generation,” I know the answer and I don’t like it.(via keepyourbsoutofmyuterus)
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“In Canada, access to health services is guaranteed by the Canada Health Act. Abortion is considered a safe, legal, insured and funded service, meaning that a woman should not have to pay for abortion services in Canada.
However, access is variable across the country and women are charged fees at some facilities. For example:
- There are no abortion services in Prince Edward Island.
- In New Brunswick, to have a publicly funded abortion a woman has to have approval from two doctors to have an abortion in the hospital. If she has an abortion at the clinic, then she will have to pay as the province will not pay for abortions outside publicly funded facilities, such as hospitals.
- New Brunswick funds only abortion care provided by obstetrician/gynecologists, not family physicians as is common throughout the rest of Canada.
Some of these barriers may violate the Canada Health Act and the intent of the decriminalization of abortion in Canada.
Abortion is funded under provincial and territorial health plans, and coverage varies regionally.”
-National Abortion Federation of Canada
I felt like this would be a good resource to circulate. There seems to be some confusion about what is covered in Canada in terms of abortion services and how this coverage varies by region. This chart is pretty handy.
[NB: not only those who identify as women need access to abortion services]
As you can tell from the title, this brief is very obviously gendered. However, it goes over in great detail why reproductive health care is so important to young people in the United States. Here are some highlights:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that even though young people ages 15 to 24 represent only 25 percent of the sexually experienced population, they acquire nearly half of all new sexually transmitted infections.
- Of the approximately 19 million uninsured adult women in America, about 5.3 million—28 percent—are ages 19 to 25. Women in their 20s have been among the least likely to have health insurance either because they are no longer in school; no longer eligible to stay on their parent’s insurance policy; working part-time, temporary, or low-wage jobs that do not offer health benefits; or some combination of the above.
- For many young [people], their annual visit to their obstetrician/gynecologist may be their only consistent contact with a doctor, and it is often their primary interaction with the health care system. Young [people] use gynecological visits for a range of services, from checking their blood pressure to obtaining a breast exam, from receiving traditional gynecological services such as screening for sexually transmitted infections or birth control prescriptions to being screened for depression and mental health disorders.