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As Attacks on Planned Parenthood Aim for Sex-Ed Funding, Let's Remember How Bad Religious-Backed Abstinence Only Programs Are

Live Action and Lila Rose want to replace Planned Parenthood's sex-ed funding with false information and religious fundamentalist preaching.

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At the same lecture, Donahue used a participatory activity outlined in the WAIT/CRE curriculum to show how sex prior to marriage negatively impacts a person’s ability to bond to a mate in the future. Donahue had a boy join her at the front of the auditorium. She instructed him to bare his arm, then ripped a long piece of clear packing tape off a roll and held it up to the audience; the boy's girlfriend. 

Donahue applied the tape to the boy's arm and rubbed it briskly to ensure that it bonded, talking about how the tape would probably not become the boy's wife. She then ripped the tape from his arm -- signifying their breakup -- and held it up for the students to see. The tape was covered with bits of the boy's dried skin and hair. Donahue commented on how gross the tape was and repeated the operation over and over again. Each time the tape pulled up more debris and lost more of its ability to make a tight bond.

The implication is that the girl is now dirty, soiled for her future husband. She will go on to have problems trying to “bond” with another man. This too is common in abstinence-only curricula. The girl is burdened with the actions of the boy, and is responsible for guarding her purity from him. There is lip service paid to the boy’s responsibility but mostly in the form of excuses: raging hormones, constantly producing sperm, the girl’s shirts are too low-cut. 

According to one Colorado blogger, an attendee of another Donahue WAIT/CRE lecture reported that Donahue told the group the HPV vaccine “will leave them sterile.” This is a familiar lie used by the right wing based on their belief that for young women, a potentially life-saving vaccine’s most dangerous side effect is immorality and promiscuity. 

You can watch the hour long video for yourself. Not only does the gender stereotyping and nonsensical explanations about how one becomes pregnant continue, it also reinforces heterosexual marriage as the only way to live a happy productive life. All of this is pulled directly from WAIT/CRE’s curriculum. Donahue says something akin to getting right with God in reference to pre-marital sex and mentions the deity several more times throughout the presentation. 

According to a GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian Straight Education Network) study "a significantly greater portion of students in schools who used an abstinence-only curriculum reported feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and gender expression—64.8% of these students felt unsafe because of their sexual orientation compared to 57.3% of all other students."

A new circular issued by the Administration for Children and Families, the government agency that distributes abstinence money, recommends that, “[Title V recipients] consider the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth and how their programs will be inclusive of and non-stigmatizing toward such participants."

WAIT/CRE’s founder, Joneen Mackenzie, reported on her state application for Title V funding that, "The American Psychological Association Gay and Lesbian Issues Team have vetted the WAIT Training Curriculum for inclusive language and appropriate activities that include all students...only data driven curricula that is inclusive and not stigmatizing to this population will be utilized in this effort." 

The APA’s Clinton Anderson, associate executive director and director of the APA's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns Office says otherwise, “we never conveyed any sort of approval to WAIT Training as being adequately inclusive or appropriate for lesbian, gay and bisexual students." In fact, the APA supports comprehensive sex education and has made recommendations for inclusive messaging.

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