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Friday, May 18, 2007

birds do it, bees do it, why can't we do it? safely, that is..

9 out of 10 people agree abstinence-only education DOES NOT WORK**. Ask researchers, scientists , and teenagers and they'll all tell you in their best 90's valley girl voice "like, get real! It's 2007. Everyone's doing it!" It, for you squares out there, being sex.

Finally even politicians are catching on, Democrats have recently committed to de-funding ineffective abstinence-only education here in the States. Now it seems like we may have a chance to apply some of that common sense to our foreign policy. And we all know that doesn't happen too often!

So, here's where we come in. Let's start harassing our local officials and urge them to pass the Protection Against Transmission of HIV for Women and Youth (PATHWAY) Act. It's a bill backed by both Democrats and Republicans that would remove ideological restrictions on HIV prevention policies, including the 1/3 abstinence-until-marriage prevention earmark, from U.S. global AIDS policy.

PEPFAR Watch has some great information on their site about PATHWAY, as well as a link to your local representatives email addresses. Click here to get to their site:

For us SF/Bay Area folks, I'd urge you to call Speaker Pelosi's office. Since Congress is in session a message may reach her more quickly if you call the DC office (202) 225-4965), you can also reach her at: (415) 556-4862.

The Mailman School of Public Health even came up with this handy phone script for those of us who get a little nervous:

Hello, my name is ________________I am a constituent and I am calling
to urge Speaker Pelosi to exercise leadership in making sure that
language striking the abstinence earmark for global AIDS prevention is
included in this year's base appropriations bill.

**Statistic may be a wee bit off...