Bush to kids: No way we're telling you the f^#@%$#! truth!posted by The Vidiot @ 10:31 PM Permalink
Researchers organizing a federal panel on sexually transmitted diseases say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allowed a congressman to include two abstinence-only proponents, bypassing the scientific approval process.Because it's impossible to present data showing the misAdministrations policies are working!? Folks, this ain't politics, it's science, if the facts aren't there you can't spin it.
Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., who chairs the House subcommittee on drug policy, questioned the balance of the original panel, which focused on the failure of abstinence-until-marriage programs. In e-mail to Health and Human Services officials, his office asked whether the CDC was "clear about the controversial nature of this session and its obvious anti-abstinence objective."
Last week the title of the panel was changed and two members were replaced. One of them was a Penn State student who was going to talk about how abstinence programs were tied to rising STD rates.
The panel is to be held Tuesday at the National STD Prevention Conference in Jacksonville, Fla.
"It was clear that there was not a scintilla of something positive about the abstinence education method," said Michelle Gress, counsel for Souder on the subcommittee. [ED: And why do you suppose that is?]
Scientists have complained about increasing government interference. Last year, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration officials told coordinators of a conference on suicide prevention to remove the words gay, lesbian and bisexual from its program and add a session on faith-based suicide prevention.
"At the CDC, they're beside themselves," said Jonathan Zenilman, president of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association and conference organizer. "These people aren't scientists; they haven't written anything. The only reason they're here is because of political pressure from the administration."
Neither of the new speakers -- Patricia Sulak, an ob/gyn and director of the Worth the Wait program, and Eric Walsh, a California physician -- went through the peer-review process required of other participants, although CDC officials did not explain why. Both panelists were funded by the HHS, although others said they were told they had to pay their own way.
"It's real simple," Karen Hunter said. "It was unbalanced before. And now it's not." [ED: Well, that explains it ... not! Personally, I think she's the unbalanced one.]
Zenilman said the conference panel focused on the problems with abstinence programs because there are no credible data -- and no credible applicants offering otherwise.
"We've spent $1.2 billion over a 25-year period on abstinence-only programs. Shouldn't we have one study that shows that they work?" asked William Smith, director for public policy for the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. He is no longer on the panel.
Two weeks ago, Souder heard about the original panel, titled "Are Abstinence-Only Until Marriage Programs a Threat to Public Health?" It included John Santelli, a professor from Columbia University, Smith, Trigg, and Maryjo Oster, a Penn State graduate student.
In e-mail that Souder sent HHS officials, said Gress, his counsel, he asked whether the CDC had to notify HHS about the meetings and topics and whether it had done so for the STD conference.
Someone from HHS contacted the CDC and the panel was changed. Two spokesmen said they could provide no details.
Coburn spokesman John Hart questioned why the CDC would present data that contradict the administration's policy.
But wait, there's more!
Until recently, a CDC initiative called "Programs That Work" identified sex education programs that have been found to be effective in scientific studies and provided this information through its web site to interested communities.La, la, la, la, la they can't hear you they have their fingers in their ... uhhh, ears!
In 2002, all five "Programs That Work" provided comprehensive sex education to teenagers, and none were "abstinence-only."
In the last year, and without scientific justification, CDC has ended this initiative and erased information about these proven sex education programs from its web site.