WASHINGTON (BP)--Supporters of abstinence education were disappointed April 23 that Rep. Henry Waxman, who is pro-choice, apparently used his position as chairman of a House committee to organize a one-sided panel of experts to attack the effectiveness of abstinence programs ahead of important funding appropriations discussions.
"This was really a circus to try to move an ideological agenda, and that was to defund abstinence education," Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association in Washington, told Baptist Press.
Six of Waxman's seven witnesses against abstinence education said, "No. Even if [abstinence education] were shown to be effective, we would not support its funding."
Ironically, Waxman's opening remarks before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform included the statement that "we must base our policy on the best available science and evidence, not ideology."
Waxman, D.-Calif., invited a panel of seven experts who spoke against abstinence education and one who spoke in favor of it. The only other person on the panel to support abstinence education was Sen. Sam Brownback, R.-Kan., who was one of two members of Congress called to testify.
Huber, who attended the hearing, said the most astounding piece of information that came out of the proceedings was the response the panelists gave to a question from Rep. Virginia Foxx, R.-N.C., who asked, "If abstinence education programs were shown to be effective, would you support funding them?"
"She asked this to those who were brought in supposedly as objective experts on this, looking only at the effectiveness," Huber recounted. "With the exception of one other witness besides our own, every single one of them said, 'No. Even if it were shown to be effective, we would not support its funding.' Read More