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US Pushing at UN for Ineffective "Abstinence-Only" Women's Health Programs

Despite volumes of research like that released last year by the Guttmacher Institute demonstrating that abstinence-only sex education programs are generally ineffective, and that comprehensive sex education programs not only successfully reduce unwanted pregnancies, but also reduce sexually transmitted diseases, Trump administration officials are insisting that UN agencies delete references to contraception, abortion, and comprehensive sex education.

There is little academic debate about the relative merit of abstinence-only sex-ed programs v. comprehensive sex education. The Guttmacher Institute said this last year as part of its comprehensive study about abstinence programs:

"The weight of scientific evidence finds that AOUM programs are not effective in delaying initiation of sexual intercourse or changing other sexual risk behaviors. AOUM programs, as defined by U.S. federal funding requirements, inherently withhold information about human sexuality and may provide medically inaccurate and stigmatizing information. Thus, AOUM programs threaten fundamental human rights to health, information, and life."

But, in appeasing the Evangelical portion of its base, Trump officials are pushing their support for abstinence-only programs beyond earlier Republican administrations.

First reported by Buzzfeed: The latest example of this came at the annual UN Commission on the Status of Women, a two-week session described by a spokesperson for the US Mission to the United Nations as the UN’s “most important meeting on women’s empowerment.”

Trump Administration officials representing HHS, USAID, and the US Mission to the UN all asked that references to contraception, abortion, and comprehensive sex education to be struck from a document on international gender equality, calling the US a "pro-life nation."

"The Trump officials’ approach at the UN meeting makes it clear that the administration intends to extend its views on abortion, contraception, and sexual education beyond US borders to an extent that is unusual even for Republican administrations."

You can read the entire article here.


#UN #InternationalRelations #health

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