I am a dork because I get excited about pieces of legislation.
The Prevention First Act - introduced in both the US House (H.R.463) and Senate (S.21) - is giddily awesome and covers everything from emergency contraception and comprehensive sex ed to assistance for rape survivors and funds for positive life education.
Things like this are why I heart my Democratic Congress (today):
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any information concerning the use of a contraceptive provided through any federally funded sex education, family life education, abstinence education, comprehensive health education, or character education program shall be medically accurate and shall include health benefits and failure rates relating to the use of such contraceptive.
No more ‘condoms have tiny holes’ if you wants the federal dollars, friends.
Hospitals receiving federal funding would be required to provide free EC to victims of sexual assault as well as providing them with the medically accurate information that EC does not cause abortion.
Use of Funds- Funds received by an entity as a grant under this section shall be used for programs that–
`(1) replicate or substantially incorporate the elements of one or more teenage pregnancy prevention programs that have been proven (on the basis of rigorous scientific research) to delay sexual intercourse or sexual activity, increase condom or contraceptive use without increasing sexual activity, or reduce teenage pregnancy;
`(f) Relation to Abstinence-Only Programs- Funds under this section are not intended for use by abstinence-only education programs…
Which is redundant since abstinence-only programs are not scientifically shown to significantly delay sexual activity (much less to promote safe sexual activity), but I like to see Congress covering its bases.
What else? Ah yes, funding can go to a program that:
(1) is age-appropriate and medically accurate;
(2) does not teach or promote religion;
(3) teaches that abstinence is the only sure way to avoid pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases;
(4) stresses the value of abstinence while not ignoring those young people who have had or are having sexual intercourse;
(5) provides information about the health benefits and side effects of all contraceptives and barrier methods as a means to prevent pregnancy and reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS;
(6) encourages family communication between parent and child about sexuality;
(7) teaches young people the skills to make responsible decisions about sexuality, including how to avoid unwanted verbal, physical, and sexual advances; and
(8) teaches young people how alcohol and drug use can effect responsible decision making.
States can also receive money for programs that teach positive male sexuality and preventative domestic/partner violence techniques, amongst other things.
I’m pretty much over the moon about these bills (before they are inevitably stripped of everything meaningful).
I’ve already called Burris and Durbin, though ‘The Honorable Vacancy - IL05‘ was not available. (Click the link; that was the actual output for my query.)