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Local Planned Parenthood calls for end to abstinence-only federal funding

PLATTSBURGH Northern Adirondack Planned Parenthood chief executive officer Kathie Wunderlich praised a report recently released by Douglas Kirby, Ph.D., and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. The report, said Ms. Wunderlich, definitively shows abstinence-only programs are ineffective. NAPP, a visible and forceful advocate for reproductive rights in the North Country, called on Congress to stop funding abstinence-only programs that "do nothing to help teens prevent unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections." It is essential that teens get the most accurate information about preventing disease and unintended pregnancy," said Ms. Wunderlich. "Spending $1 billion on abstinence-only programs to falsely teach our teens that condoms dont work does not give them the necessary information to protect themselves." According to Ms. Wunderlich, Americans overwhelmingly support teaching comprehensive sex education rather than abstinence-only in schools. A recent Hart Research poll showed 76 percent of voters want comprehensive sex education for their teens. How can we ask our teens to be responsible, and then deny them the tools they need to make responsible decisions about their sexual health," asked Ms. Wunderlich. "It's time for Congress to stop wasting money and start putting teens and parents first by fundingcomprehensive sex education programs that include messages about both prevention and abstinence." A December 2004 report released by California Congressman Henry Waxman examined the accuracy of the most popular curricula used by federally funded abstinence-only programs, and found more than two-thirds of these programs distort information and mislead young people by giving them false information about contraception, particularly about the effectiveness of condoms. New York is one of 13 states which has rejected federal funding for abstinence-only programs. Governors across America, from Montana to Massachusetts, have rejected Bush administration funding for abstinence-only programs, citing them as harmful and misleading, said Ms. Wunderlich.

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