Last week, Blanche Lincoln was the deciding vote when the Senate Finance Committee voted 12-11 to approve an amendment to provide millions of dollars to fund abstinence-only sex education programs. The amendment, sponsored by Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT), would allocate $50 million per year for such programs through 2014. Federal bureaucrats do not conduct these no-nookie programs; the government gives the money to local non-profit groups to spend, despite documented evidence that the programs spread inaccurate information and are proven ineffective. That is, they do not work.
One such purveyor of abstinence-only hokum is a Lowell-based outfit called Reality Check. It claims to work with John Brown University, Northwest Arkansas Community College, the Boys and Girls Club, First Tee, Youth Bridge, Springdale School District, and the Rogers School District to share its message of birth control by just saying no to sex. Despite spending millions of dollars on this message, Arkansas ranks fourth in the nation in the number of teen births per capita. It ignores the fact that contraception works. Reality Check is a subsidiary of Tree of Life Preventative Health Maintenance, Inc., a faith-based organization that, according to its website, works under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Here's one reason that Reality Check's services might not work. Tobias Patrick Lyons, a former employee of the private nonprofit, was arrested Friday for sexual indecency with a child after he admitted texting a 14-year-old girl to ask for sex and asking another minor female to send him nude photographs of herself, which she sent to his cell phone. He is facing up to six years in prison for a Class D felony.
Just two years ago, our local Congressman John Boozman (R-Dark Ages) said, “I am a strong supporter of abstinence education, and I am glad to see Reality Check taking a leadership role in providing this type of learning to our youth, This money represents an investment in the future of our children and in the ‘positive life choices’ that are part of Reality Check’s mission.”
Senator Lincoln and Congressman Boozman should think on these things whenever they go spouting off about how lucky we are that they funneled $532,509 of our tax dollars in a grant to Reality Check of Lowell for programs that not only don't work but make matters worse.