Critics of abstinence-only education banned from speaking at a national conference on the prevention of sexually transmited diseases.
Region: North America
Medium: Public Speech
Artist: A critic of abstinence-only education that was censored from speaking at a national conference on the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. And, proponents of contraception and comprehensive sex education.
Confronting Bodies: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.)
Date of Action: May 2006
Location: United States of America
Description of Artwork: A national conference on the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
The Incident: Participants at a 2005 US national conference on the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases did not hear a panel entitled: "Are Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs a Threat to Public Health?" Instead, they heard "Public Health Strategies of Abstinence Programs for Youth". The speakers at the conference, which was sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were also changed to remove a critic of abstinence-only education programs in favor of two proponents. The program change at the conference reportedly occurred as a result of pressure from US Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) who is an outspoken opponent of contraception and comprehensive sex education.
Results of Incident: In the end, the entire message and aim of the national conference was altered. All speakers and ideas that questioned and criticized the abstinence-only education program were excluded from the conference. Instead of a conference that examined and compared various different ways to prevent sexually transmitted diseases; it was a conference that presented only one way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, namely, abstinence-ONLY.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution www.ajc.com