Alex Blaze

Obama crew will increase condom education, lift global gag order

Filed By Alex Blaze | November 11, 2008 7:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics
Tags: abstinence only education, Barack Obama, comprehensive sex education, condoms, global gag order

Obama's staff is talking about lifting the global gag order:

``We have been going in the wrong direction and we need to turn it around and be promoting prevention and family-planning services and strengthening public health,'' said [co-chairman of Obama's advisory committee for women's health Susan] Wood, a research professor at George Washington University School of Public Health in Washington.

Bush on his first day in office, in January 2001, reinstated the so-called Mexico City Policy -- known to critics as the global gag rule. It bars U.S. family-planning assistance for organizations that use funding from any other source to provide counseling and referral for abortion, lobby to make abortion legal or more available in their country, or perform abortions except in cases of a threat to the woman's life, rape or incest.

Obama ``is committed to looking at all this and changing the policies so that family-planning services -- both in the U.S. and the developing world -- reflect what works, what helps prevent unintended pregnancy, reduce maternal and infant mortality, prevent the spread of disease,'' Wood said.

There isn't any reason to be promoting abstinence abroad. It's a crazy, paternalistic plan to tell other people to refrain from having sex, as if Bush not wanting dudes in Uganda to go messing around with each other or for women to get abortions in Rwanda was actually going to make people stop and say, "Well, gee, that nice president of the US doesn't want us to do this, so we'd better stop."

While PEPFAR funding was being increased, prevention's important too. And just telling the queers to stop having sex does nothing. Hell, telling straights to stop having sex outside marriage doesn't do much either. Providing scientific sex ed and condoms has been proven to work; abstinence education hasn't.

As for the global gag order, the president of the US and all his fundamentalist supporters don't have the knowledge to be making a decision on a woman's abortion half a world away. But that's the same kind of arrogant foreign policy that led us into Iraq and has made most of the world hate us.

Elections have results, and I'm glad that this is one of them. Isn't having a sane person in office nice?


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On the flip side, he left out DOMA and DADT in his agenda website. Funny, as DOMA was what led gays to decide for him over Hillary.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | November 12, 2008 7:29 AM

Lucrece,

I am gay and there were many reasons that led me to support Obama over Clinton.

It is probably not a good idea to go around making any kind of definitive statements about what makes gays do anything. After all, we are an incredibly diverse and don't follow in lock-step on virtually anything.

The man isn't even officially in office and already he is making me smile. Not educating people on condom use has got to be one of the dumbest policies on the planet. This is not just about preventing pregnancy but stopping the spread of a deadly disease. It is my opinion that no one should ever have to pay for a condom; they save lives.
January 20 cannot come soon enough for me. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. It is time for the smart guy as Jay Smooth would say.

Melanie Davis | November 12, 2008 11:40 AM

Candy flavoured condoms always make me gag and don't get started on that nonoxyl-9 crap, so I think that Bush did the world a service by withholding condoms.

I want President Obama to encourage more research into penis-flavoured condoms, I think that might improve the rate of use. Also, definitely make them free. They could be subsidised by selling ad space on them in glow-in-the-dark ink.