Leading Medical Association Rejects Abstinence-Only Policies

Among the highlights of the report:

Abstinence-only Programs Undermine Medical Ethics and Basic Human Rights

“We believe that current federal abstinence-only-until-marriage policy is ethically problematic, as it excludes accurate information about contraception, misinforms by overemphasizing or misstating the risks of contraception, and fails to require the use of scientifically accurate information while promoting approaches of questionable value.”

“Abstinence-only programs threaten fundamental human rights to health, information, and life.”

Abstinence Only “Works Every Time” – Think Again

” Based on our review of the evaluations of specific abstinence-only curricula and research on virginity pledges, user failure with abstinence appears to be very high. Thus, although theoretically completely effective in preventing pregnancy, in actual practice the efficacy of abstinence-only interventions may approach zero.”

Abstinence vs. Abstinence Only

“There is broad support for abstinence as a necessary and appropriate part of sexuality education. Controversy arises when abstinence is provided to adolescents as a sole choice and where health information on other choices is restricted or misrepresented.”

Abstinence-only Programs Negatively Impact Other Federal Policies

Citing the Administration’s requirement that U.S. AIDS relief programs abroad spend at least 33 percent of prevention dollars on abstinence-only programs, the report states: “Human rights groups find that U.S. government policy has become a source for misinformation and censorship in these countries. U.S. emphasis on abstinence may also have reduced condom availability and access to accurate information on HIV/AIDS in some countries.”

Full article – Advocates For Youth

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