Tuesday, January 6, 2004
NOTE TO EDITORS
The December, 2003 issue of The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, a review from The Alan Guttmacher Institute's (AGI's) policy analysts, features the following three special analyses:
"ABC" APPROACH WORKED IN UGANDA--BUT CAN IT BE REPLICATED? Between the late 1980s and mid-1990s, Uganda dramatically reduced its rate of HIV/AIDS infection. According to by Susan Cohen, there is no question that changes in all three "ABC" sexual behaviors--Abstain, Be faithful, use Condoms--contributed to the country's success. There is, however, much debate about how Uganda's ABC program worked and whether the experience is replicable in other countries.
"USING" ABSTINENCE AS A PREGNANCY AND STD PREVENTION METHOD In the United States, social conservatives are promoting sexual abstinence as the only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. Yet, little is known about the real-life failure rates of abstinence as a preventive method, or even what it actually means to "use" abstinence as a prevention method. by Cynthia Dailard explores these and other related questions.
16 MILLION U.S. WOMEN NEED PUBLIC SUPPORT TO PREVENT UNINTENDED PREGNANCY a new analysis by Adam Sonfield, highlights the ongoing problem of unintended pregnancy in the United States (where half of all pregnancies are still unintended) and discusses the existing strains on the nation's system of care designed to meet women's reproductive health needs. Currently, thirty-four million U.S. women need contraceptive services and supplies to help them prevent unintended pregnancies--nearly half of whom need public support for such care because they are poor or low-income, or are teenagers.
Three additional articles highlight recent policy developments:
• by Rachel Benson Gold, summarizes the major sexual and reproductive health-related legislative actions taken by the states in 2003.
• In Amy Deschner explores the controversy surrounding the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. The article discusses the legality of the legislation's language and its lack of an exception for a woman's health, as well as other abortion-related legislation that could impact the legality of abortion.
• The Office of Population Affairs (OPA) has announced several new Title X program priorities that will affect the delivery of subsidized family planning services for low-income women, according to by Cynthia Dailard. The new program goals stress such services as "extramarital abstinence education and counseling," activities that promote positive family relationships and an "ABC" message for HIV/AIDS education that stresses "A" (abstinence) for adolescents and unmarried individuals of all ages.