May 11, 2002


UN children's conference ends in disarray (DOUG SAUNDERS, 5/10/02, Globe and Mail)
An international agreement to improve the conditions of the world's poorest children was in disarray Friday night as a debate about
sexual abstinence consumed the United Nations.

The debate threatened to leave the UN in a deadlock over its policy on children's issues. The United States, the Vatican and fundamentalist Islamic
nations refused to sign the agreement unless it stated that abstinence was the only acceptable approach to AIDS and sex education in UN-supported
aid programs. The hostile mood in the General Assembly was at odds with the broadly optimistic messages delivered at this week's special international summit on children. [...]

"In terms of sex education we have been adamant that abstinence be included as the strongest choice," a U.S. official told reporters. "Abstinence is the solution to the problems we are discussing at this conference. All the other forms of sex education are dealing with the side effects."

As several aid-agency officials pointed out Friday, the United States shows two faces on social politics of foreign aid. The abstinence policy, which also forbids U.S. federal funding to any aid programs that endorse abortion, has been in place since 1996. But America is also home to the world's most generous philanthropists, Bill Gates and Ted Turner, both of whom have earmarked hundreds of millions of dollars to Third World reproductive-health programs that take liberal positions on sex education and birth control.

I'm not sure why this is confusing to people. The government, representing the American people, suggests that kids be taught not to have sex in the first place. Elite liberals, like Gates and Turner, want the kids to go ahead and get their freak on and they'll pay to kill any inconvenient babies they
produce as a consequence. Which side of this debate are the true philanthropists on? Posted by Orrin Judd at May 11, 2002 7:56 PM
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