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Harm of Abstinence-Only Programs in U.S. and Abroad Subject of Panel Discussion at Two Maine College Campuses
Date:1/28/2008

Leading Advocates for Women's Health and Rights call for an End to

Government Funding for Failed Abstinence-Only Programs

NEW YORK, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Legal Momentum, in partnership with the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) and the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), will hold panel discussions at Bowdoin College (January 29) and at the University of Southern Maine Portland campus (January 30) as part of the organizations' national campaign to end U.S. government funding for domestic and international programs that teach abstinence-only-until-marriage. These two events follow a standing-room only event in September 2006 at the Harvard Law School.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071108/NYTH016LOGO )

Legal Momentum, CHANGE, and SIECUS seek to mobilize communities to take action at the local level and join the national movement against government funding for abstinence-only programs. The events come in the wake of staggering data released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing that the teen birthrate in the United States jumped 3% from 2005 to 2006 after more than 15 years of steady decline. In addition, the U.S. Congress is currently in the midst of activity around reauthorization of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the U.S. global AIDS initiative that currently restricts 33% of HIV prevention funds to ideologically-based abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.

Numerous studies provide conclusive evidence that abstinence-only-until- marriage programs, at home and abroad, do not lead to positive changes in teen sexual behavior, are particularly harmful to women and girls because they promote dangerous and outdated stereotypes, potentially exacerbate the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infection
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SOURCE Legal Momentum
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