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Letters to the editor

June 16, 2007
(Page 3 of 3)

In other words, the federal and state governments have spent more than $1.5 billion over the past 10 years on programs that simply do not work. A copy of the full report is available at www.mathematica-mpr.com/welfare/abstinence.asp.

The 10-year study confirms the findings made by the Institute of Medicine, the nation's premier public-health authority, which called abstinence-only-until-marriage "poor fiscal and public-health policy" and urged Congress to repeal the funding. Additionally, the leading public health organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Adolescent Medicine, and the American Medical Association, all support a comprehensive sex-education approach.

What teens need and parents want is medically accurate, comprehensive sex education programs that include abstinence, birth control and sexually transmitted disease prevention information.

Seventy-six percent of voters surveyed by Harris Interactive in July agreed with the statement: "For teenagers, prevention starts with comprehensive sex education, including abstinence. But, if we are serious about wanting to decrease unintended pregnancies, we also need to make sure birth control is widely available and accessible."

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We hope that you will encourage the new Congress to eliminate funding ($50 million to the states per year under Title V, Section 510 of the Social Security Act, and an additional $113 million to ultra-conservative organizations) for abstinence-only marriage programs that prohibit information about the health benefits of condoms.

Congress should pass the Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act, which would authorize federal support for comprehensive sex education programs that "teach that abstinence is the only sure way to avoid pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease" and provide scientifically accurate information about "the health benefits and side effects of all contraceptives."

The REAL Act leaves the choice regarding particular curricula to the states and local school boards. Only then will we have public policy in the area of sex education that is based on common sense and sound public health principles.

James Wagoner
Executive Director
Advocates for Youth




Tell me that I'm not correct about Bush



To the editor:

It is said that The Herald-Mail is so conservative that an article that does not serve the Republican Party is not printed.

I myself have found information about Republicans on the front page, while Democratic information is printed on page three or four or even in another section.

But the purpose of this letter is to ask your help. Please explain (or correct me if I am wrong).

What is so great about a president who works the intelligence information into a pattern of lies and deceit?

Goes to war without the consent of Congress,

Dares the American people to challenge his authority?

Twists the law to allow illegal wiretaps?

Loads the Department of Justice and the Supreme Court with people who will cover his butt?

Cannot deal with disasters at home?

Allows the military hospitals and our service men and women to suffer because they served?

Who was a National Guard lieutenant who thinks he knows more about fighting a war than the generals?

Awards no-bid contracts to a company that takes the money, keeps no records and says, "We can't, when asked for an accounting, then moves the company headquarters out of the country for further protection.

If I have offended anyone, please think about it and correct me.

Samuel Tubaugh
Hagerstown

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