Women's groups give Bush a D grade for global AIDS initiative
March 09 2004 1:00 AM ET
A coalition of women's groups give the Bush administration a D grade for its global AIDS initiative, mostly for talking about fighting the pandemic but doing "too little in the field" to follow through on its promises. The "Global Women's Issues Scorecard," created by representatives from the Feminist Majority Foundation, the Center for Health and Gender Equality, and the Women's Environment and Development Organization, gave the Administration a B for rhetoric on the initiative but a D for the "reality" of the global program. The groups were particularly critical of Bush's emphasis on teaching abstinence to prevent HIV infections in foreign countries that have very different cultural environments than the United States does. "There are several things to suggest the rhetoric is a political strategy," Center for Health and Gender Equality executive director Jodi Jacobson said. "The abstinence-only strategy has never been proved to work anywhere." She also says Bush's policy uses a "value-laden and religious perspective rather than a public-health approach" to fight AIDS and that Bush "promotes ideology over science in HIV prevention."