Meghan McCain & Barack Obama Talk About End of Abstinence-Only

It turns out that Meghan McCain and Barack Obama have something in common today: they both think that the Republican focus on abstinence-only education is completely idiotic.

In a brand new post on The Daily Beast entitled "The GOP Is Clueless About Sex", McCain argues that, Bristol Palin aside, the GOP insistence that women aren't sexual and knowledge isn't important if one can just convince everyone not to have sex is, well, stupid.

Here's what I've never understood about the party: its resistance to discussing better access to birth control. As a Republican, I am pro-life. But using birth control and having an abortion are not the same at all. Actually, the best way to prevent abortions is to educate people about birth control and make it widely and easily accessible. True: abstinence is the only way to fully prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Still, the problem with abstinence-only education is that it does not make teenagers and young adults more knowledgeable about all the issues they face if or when they have sex-physically and emotionally.

This is, in effect, the whole purpose of comprehensive sex education and the actual reproductive health policy advocated by President Obama.

Obama isn't just advocating for it anymore: he's putting it into action in his new budget. As reported earlier today:

The Obama budget eliminates the main federal funding streams for abstinence-only education (some of which have been around since welfare reform) and replaces them with $110 million in competitive grants to "fund teen pregnancy prevention programs," with at least $75 million reserved for "programs that replicate the elements of one or more teenage pregnancy prevention programs that have been proven through rigorous evaluation to delay sexual activity, increase contraceptive use (without increasing sexual activity), or reduce teenage pregnancy." It also authorizes $50 million in new mandatory teen pregnancy prevention grants to states.

Reducing unwanted pregnancy reduces abortions, increasing science-based sex education reduces abortion (and helps women and men better deal with their sexuality), it's all good.

And the budget is really specific about abstinence-only education, known in federal speak by the name Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE).

This Budget eliminates funding for Community-Based Abstinence Education, the mandatory Title V Abstinence Education program, the Compassion Capital Fund, and Rural Community Facilities.

Buh-bye, and hooray!

The GOP Is Clueless About Sex [The Daily Beast]
The End of Abstinence-Only [Time]
An End To Abstinence Only, In Black And White [Politico]