A quick note before I leave work for the day – The Secular Coalition for America just sent out letters to members of the Senate Finance Committee urging them to oppose two proposed amendments to the healthcare reform bill.
Senator Orrin Hatch has submitted amendment #C10 requesting that funding for Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage be restored. Senator Michael Enzi has submitted amendment #C15 to ensure that conscience protections are applied in the healthcare reform bill. Please oppose these two amendments. Both of these amendments privilege religious values over patients’ and students’ rights to ethical treatment and medically-accurate information.
Look familiar? These are two fights the secular community won recently. President Obama’s proposed budget earlier this year removed funding for abstinence-only education, mostly because studies shown they hadn’t worked — some studies even found that the programs made things worse, discouraging contraception without actually reducing sex. And Senator Hatch wants to spend $50 million a year on these programs.
There was public outcry over a so-called ‘conscience protection’ clause the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was pushing right before Bush’s term ended. When Obama took office, he prevented it from taking effect. And now Senator Enzi wants to slip a similar clause into the healthcare reform bill.
I wish we didn’t have to go through this, but it does feel good to be defending positive outcomes for once.