Obama to Remove Abstinence Requirement for HIV Funding

By admin

Originally published on Advocate.com November 12 2008 1:00 AM ET

President-elect
Barack Obama plans to overhaul the Bush administration's
international family planning and AIDS prevention funding
policy, which excludes abortion and strictly supports
abstinence-only education.

The President's
Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, enacted by President
George Bush, is a $45 billion program that distributes drugs
and offers prevention and relief to 3 million people
in poor countries around the world. The program
requires that abstinence and monogamy be stressed more
than condom use, which many believe result in even
higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases, Susan
Wood, Obama's cochair for women's health advisement,
told Bloomberg News.

"We have been
going in the wrong direction, and we need to turn it
around and be promoting prevention and family planning
services and strengthening public health," she said in
the article.

On his first day
in office in January 2001, Bush reinstated a policy
barring the United State from funding family planning for
organizations involved with abortion or
comprehensive sex education.

Wood resigned as
an Food and Drug Administration regulator for women's
health in 2005 in protest of the agency's delay in clearing
over-the-counter sales of the "morning-after pill" for two
years. (Michelle Garcia, The Advocate)