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Another Anti-Sex Education, Anti-Choice Bush Appointee Steps Down
Wade Horn Was Known for His Narrow Views on Sex Education
Planned Parenthood Urges Bush Administration To Appoint Mainstream Health Expert Who Supports Access To Comprehensive Sex Education and Affordable Birth Control
NEW YORK CITY — Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), the nation's leading reproductive health care advocate and provider, called on the Bush administration to replace HHS Assistant Secretary for Children and Families Wade Horn, who resigned Monday, with a true advocate for the health of teens, women and families.
"Horn's political appointment was a classic case of the Bush administration prizing ideology over public health. Horn should be replaced with a public health expert who's a true advocate for teens, women and families," PPFA President Cecile Richards said. "Approximately 750,000 U.S. teens will become pregnant this year, and nearly four million of them will contract a sexually transmitted infection — in part because they don't have access to the information they need to make responsible decisions about their health."
Horn's resignation comes just days after Eric Keroack, Bush's appointee to run our nation's family planning program, stepped down. Officials in Keroack's home state of Massachusetts told the Boston Globe late last week that the former family planning chief "is under investigation by state Medicaid authorities in connection with his private medical practice."
"The Bush administration should be doing everything it can to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies in America through commonsense measures, such as comprehensive sex education and affordable contraception," Richards added.
Richards called on Congress to pass the Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act, introduced two weeks ago. The bipartisan REAL Act would create a grant program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services that would fund comprehensive sex education programs in schools nationwide. Currently, no federal program is dedicated to supporting comprehensive sex education, despite the proven effectiveness of such programs. It is estimated that only 10 percent of all American school districts have a sexuality education policy that is comprehensive and includes information about contraception and safer sex in addition to abstinence.
President Bush recently requested a $28 million increase in the FY'08 budget for abstinence-only programs, which have been widely criticized for denying teens life-saving information about how to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Since 1996, Congress has committed more than $1 billion for federal and state abstinence-only programs.