The Corner

The Ole Sexy Try

There’s a front-page USA Today story today about the Bush administration supposedly making twentysomethings not having sex a priority. It was brought to my attention by readers who were wondering if Prudish K-Lo had taken a job with the Department of Heath and Human Services, this being my first action.

My understanding of what happened — via Wade Horn, who actually does work for HHS (assistant secretary for children and families) — is that there’s no there there, at least nothing to put it in the news now. According to Horn “The statute governing this program has been exactly the same since 1996.” That statute was signed into law by Bill Clinton.

Horn explains to me that “The law requires that states use Title V abstinence ed money to focus on groups most likely to bear children out of wedlock. States can — and have — been focusing some of their money on young adults as well as teens, although they are not required to do so. The reason this became an issue is because the state of New Mexico wanted to restrict the use of these funds to sixth graders and to prohibit these funds from being used with junior high and high school students. Since it is difficult to argue that sixth graders are more likely to bear children out of wedlock than high school students, we included a clarification of the target age issue in our announcement of the FY 2007 availability of funds to states for this program — released, by the way, in August, not October.”

Since August, Horn says, “not a single state objected to this clarification.” But unless I’m missing something, they wouldn’t. HHS was, if I’ve got the story right, simply reminding states that they can use the money on twentysomethings too. As Horn puts it, “the clarification was permissive, not a requirement. That is, if a state doesn’t want to use any of its funds to target young adults as well as teens, they are free not to do so.”

We can argue about whether government should be involved in such things at all, but with a lot of wasteful programs out there, I can’t say this bothers me too much. If just short of one million unmarried women ages 19-29 had children in 2004, maybe a little abstinence education money going to some community centers or wherever isn’t the terrible idea some would have you believe it is.

But what do I know? I’m just a Christianist trying to create a theocracy.

Most Popular

PC Culture

Warren Is a Fraud

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has been telling a story for years. It’s a deeply romantic story about her parents and their young love, fraught with the familial bigotry of an earlier time. Here’s how she told it this week in a video she released in preparation for her 2020 run: My daddy always said he ... Read More

Two Minnesota Republican Candidates Assaulted

Two Republican candidates for state office in Minnesota have been physically assaulted in recent days, leading prominent Republican lawmakers to caution their Democratic colleagues against employing inflammatory rhetoric. Republican state representative Sarah Anderson was punched in the arm last week after ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Origins of Progressive Agony

What has transformed the Democratic party into an anguished progressive movement that incorporates the tactics of the street, embraces maenadism, reverts to Sixties carnival barking, and is radicalized by a new young socialist movement? Even party chairman Tom Perez concedes that there are “no moderate ... Read More