What Fresh Hell Is This?

June 24, 2007

Why I Blog

C-SPAN's Washington Journal had two bloggers on this morning: Kagro X (David Waldman), a contributing editor to Daily Kos and blogger at The Next Hurrah, and Robert Bluey from robertbluey.com and a contributor to redstate.com.

While I didn't think they had anything particularly remarkable to say, it was a caller to their segment who really set me off.

A woman called in saying how Blacks having babies out-of-wedlock was a main source of poverty. I'd agree that, statistically speaking, it certainly is a source of poverty/lower income for any race, but then like many who rely solely on their side's talking points, she went off the deep end. She stated as fact that the answer to the problem was abstinence-only education. She said that under abstinence-only programs abortions were down, poverty was down, and so was out-of-wedlock births.

Fine, except that none of that is true.

Recent studies and congressional reports have shown that not only does abstinence-only education feed false information about birth control and pregnancy, it found no evidence that abstinence-only programs deter sexual activity.

Moreover, studies have shown that when teens who have only been schooled in abstinence-only education do have sex, they are far less likely to use birth control because they either don't know much about it or have been told grossly misleading tales of it's worth.

Moreover, abortion rates under Bush (and his preference for abstinence-only programs) have declined at a slower rate than they did under President Clinton:
"Between 1992 and 1996, the annualized decline was 3.4 percent per year, while between 1996 and 2000, it was 1.2 percent per year," the Guttmacher study read. "The annualized decline between 2000 and 2002 was 0.9 percent."
While out-of-wedlock births have dropped among teens, there's no evidence that this is due to abstinence-only education -- especially none considering that it's been shown that those programs do not decrease sexual activity. Also, out-of-wedlock births overall are at an all time high.

And, poverty rates? They continue to rise under Bush while incomes stagnate overall and the gap between rich and poor ever widens.

She was simply factually wrong on every point she made.

And, that's why I blog. While we can all have our own opinions, but we can't all have our own facts.

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