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Family Research Council ‘Really Excited’ Trump Sinking Millions Into Abstinence-Only Sex Ed That Increases Teen Pregnancy

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The Trump Administration Will Be Responsible for Millions of Unwanted Pregnancies

Under President Barack Obama Bush-era policies and programs that pushed failed “abstinence-only” teen sex education programs were reduced or eliminated. Obama administration agencies encouraged states to implement comprehensive sex education courses, and the rate of teen pregnancy quickly and dramatically dropped to historic lows.

Last year, the Trump administration “cut more than $200 million in federal grants to scores of organizations that work to decrease teen pregnancy rates,” The Washington Post reported.

But it gets worse.

Not only is the Trump administration now unraveling the Obama administration’s focus on comprehensive sex education, but it is now spending millions of dollars to bring back failed “abstinence-only” sex education programs. 

One religious right group known for its decades-long attacks on the LGBT community – including on LGBTQ teens – the Family Research Council, is heralding there Trump administration’s move.

“We’re really excited to see that the administration is giving some tools back to us to keep pushing that fight” for abstinence-only education, FRC government affairs legislative assistant Kelly Marcum told The Hill.

Researchers have found that LGBTQ teens are “about twice as likely as other students to report becoming pregnant or getting someone pregnant.”

The Trump administration “has encouraged organizations applying for Title X federal family planning funds to include in their programs a ‘meaningful emphasis’ on ‘the benefits of avoiding sex’ when communicating with adolescents and to use programs that don’t ‘normalize sexual risk behaviors.'”

Apparently, it’s all about rebranding.

The Trump Health and Human Services agency has hired Valerie Huber, who used to head the National Abstinence Education Association. She is calling abstinence-only education “sexual risk avoidance education,” and advocating for “sexual delay.”

“As public health experts and policymakers, we must normalize sexual delay more than we normalize teen sex, even with contraception,” Huber said, before joining the Trump team.

“Sexual risk avoidance education” is modeled after programs urging teens to not smoke. 

The Trump administration is not alone in deserving blame for what will be increases in teen pregnancy.

America’s Republican-majority Congress has opened the purse strings to failed “abstinence-only” teen sex education programs, approving the expenditure of tens of millions of dollars on programs that the federal government has proven do not work.

The Hill points to “a spending deal Congress passed in February. The $75 million Title V abstinence-only program was renamed ‘sexual risk avoidance education’ (SRAE) and included new requirements that organizations receiving [federal] funding emphasize and prioritize the message that waiting until marriage to have sex is the best action.”

Studies prove teens who are given comprehensive sex education, including information on contraception, have far lower rates of pregnancy. Teens who are given sex education that emphasizes “waiting until marriage to have sex” have much higher rates of pregnancy.

Abstinence-only education doesn’t just affect teenagers. As these ill-informed teens grow out of their teens and into adulthood they  are still ill-equipped to deal with sex, meaning unwanted pregnancies are more likely for them for years.

Image by Jonathan Abourbih via Flickr and a CC license

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COMMENTARY

‘We’re in Trouble’: Steve Schmidt Issues Dire Warning About Changed GOP After January 6th Insurrection

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Appearing on MSNBC’s the 11th Hour with host Brian Williams, former GOP campaign consultant Steve Schmidt warned that Democrats need to accept that the Republican Party has changed drastically after four years of Donald Trump and the Jan 6th riot — and failure to recognize that simple fact puts the entire country at risk.

Using one of Schmidt’s tweets where he called Trump’s “truth” a “hideous deception” as a jumping-off point, the former Republican warned, “We’re in trouble.”

“Objectively, since the insurrection on Jan 6th, the Republican Party is far more radical,” Schmidt began. “Far more committed to the lie that Trump has told, fully committed to the authoritarian movement.”

“Should the events repeat themselves, the Republican Party is in a much different place than it was this past election with regard to being prepared to subvert the legal and lawful results,” he continued.

“The Democrats have done nothing since coming into office,” he added. “They have done nothing to prevent any of the abuses we have seen, done nothing to harden any of the infrastructures”

He later added, “This is a serious moment.”

Watch below:

 

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ANALYSIS

‘Something That’s Under Way’: Trump Aims to Use Russian Tactic to Be ‘Installed Without Winning’ in 2024 Says Yale Historian

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Former president Donald Trump and his GOP supporters are hoping to rely on a tactic that’s common in Russia to return him to the White House in 2024, according to one prominent expert on authoritarianism.

“As someone who follows contemporary Russia, there is a Russian phrase that comes to mind, which is the ‘administrative resource,'” author and Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder told MSNBC on Friday. “What the administrative resource means in Russian is that sure, you have an election, but the people who are running the election are going to determine how the election turns out. What the Republicans are going for is precisely that thing, the administrative resource.”

Snyder then explained how this mechanism works and how Trump and Republicans might apply it during the next election.

“Historically speaking, what we know about a ‘big lie’ is that because of its very scale, it’s not about truth or not truth; it’s about living in a kind of alternative reality,” Snyder added. “What we’re looking at is people who believe in or pretend to believe in this Big Lie, actually carrying out our elections. And the problem with this, or one of them, is that since these people have already claimed that the other side cheated, that basically legitimizes their cheating. In other words, if you talk about the Big Lie now, you’re basically promising to cheat the next time around, and that’s very concerning.”

He concluded by saying that this is a clear and present danger, not merely a theoretical one.

“The scenario for 2024 for most influential people around Donald Trump, which unfortunately means one of the political parties, is precisely to be installed without winning the election,” Snyder said. “I don’t think it’s something that could happen. I think it’s something that’s under way, and the question is, can we accept this reality in time to take the measures we need to take to prevent it?”

Watch below.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Ghoulish’ Lauren Bobert Branded a ‘Sociopath’ for Attacking Alec Baldwin: ‘Grieving Family Just Lost Their Loved One’

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U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, the QAnon Republican lawmaker and gun rights activist who owns a bar named Shooters in Rifle, Colorado, is being criticized after posting a tweet mocking and attacking Alec Baldwin. The well-known actor who spent several years playing Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live” shot and killed award-winning cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, apparently by accident, with a prop gun on set less than 24 hours ago.

Boebert dug up a seven-year old tweet Baldwin had sent in support of Michael Brown, the 18-year old Black man fatally shot by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer.

She then added a snide and ugly remark and posted it to Twitter, only too happy to use the pain of Hutchins’ grieving family, friends, and industry as a tool to attack Baldwin:

The outrage was palpable, even from a few on the right, like former Trump White House Director of Strategic Communications:

A Democratic U.S. Congressman weighed in:

This MSNBC correspondent made a keen observation:

And many others:

 

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