Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Don't call me chaste

The AP and the Progressive Newswire point out the latest effort by NARAL.

This from the Newswire:

According to Carrie Rae, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Pennsylvania, “We are launching this campaign to tap a new generation of activists tired of seeing their tax dollars spent on discredited “abstinence-only-until-marriage” programming. Pennsylvanians want real choices and real solutions to today’s reproductive health problems, not the modern equivalent of a chastity belt.”

Embracing abstinence-only-until-marriage programming, the Pennsylvania State Legislature has passed resolutions recognizing Chastity Awareness Week since 1999 and has channeled almost $6 million in federal funds to schools, health facilities, and anti-choice organizations across the state despite reports showing that these programs result in higher teen pregnancy rates and higher transmission rates of AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases.

Though Newswire links to, they offer no links to show how the abstinence programs were "discredited," to the "anti-choice" organizations of which they speak, or to the reports purportedly showing higher rates of pregnancy and STDs.

One "anti-choice" organization, the Urban Family Council, makes it into the last sentence of the AP piece:

``I think it's quite sad that this organization is speaking negatively about young people being made aware of the healthiest choice they can make,'' said Jill Page, an abstinence and youth development director for the group.

I think it's sad too, especially when groups like NARAL make it so evident that they certainly don't have young women's best interests at heart.

BTW, NARAL stands for National Abortion Rights Action League, but that name doesn't even appear on their website. Also, a search of "chastity belt" on their site didn't turn up any results.