‘Project Reality’ defends successful abstinence program from congressman’s attack

An abstinence education organization says a recent report by Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) demonstrates how fearful abstinence opponents are of the positive results of the abstinence education movement.

Waxman said in a report, Dec. 1, that abstinence programs are driven by ideology. He specifically mentioned to two teen programs, created by Project Reality.

"The motivation behind these attacks is the fact that abstinence programs are being supported by the Bush administration and are growing in number because of their cost-effective impact,” claims Libby Gray, director of Project Reality.

“This upsets groups who have been exclusively receiving federal funding for contraception promotion and education in the past," she said.

The Bush administration has supported increased funding for abstinence education since it has realized the positive benefits of the abstinence movement, says Gray. The program, she says, has proven that it is the most cost-effective way of guaranteeing adolescent health through the reduction of teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and emotional effects of early sexual activity.

Project Reality stands behind its two main abstinence programs for teens that were referenced in Waxman’s report. It says Game Plan and Navigator present information that is medically accurate and compiled by national health organizations.

Project Reality charges that much of the content of the sex-education programs that Waxman's report recommends – such as those funded under the Clinton administration called “Be Proud! Be Responsible” and “Focus on Kids” – is never scrutinized and assumes that most teens will become sexually active.

None of these "comprehensive sex-education" programs have been shown to lower rates of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, or pregnancy, says Gray.

"It's no secret that sex education groups who opposed President Bush's support of increased funding for abstinence programs are upset by the irrefutable fact that abstinence is the safest, healthiest lifestyle for teens," Gray says.

“Groups such as Planned Parenthood, SIECUS and other promoters of the type of sex education advocated by Waxman's report are out of step with the mainstream American teen and parent," states Gray.

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