What to Watch: UN Draft of Sex Ed Guidelines Draws Complaints
Here's what we're reading today:
– Timereports that a United Nations agency is preparing guidelines that recommend that school systems begin sex education at an earlier age than they do now, drawing criticism from conservatives. The agency is also preparing to suggest that as students mature, teachers should offer them more detailed information about avoiding pregnancies and disease, aiming to reduce the 4.4 million abortions sought by 15 to 19-year-olds annually. Here's more from The New York Times.
Conservative groups have also criticized the draft guidelines for discussions of condom use, sexually transmitted diseases and the assertion that "legal abortion performed under sterile conditions by medically trained personnel is safe." The guidelines suggest discussing "access to safe abortion and post-abortion care" and the "use and misuse of emergency contraception" with those ages 12 to 15. The guidelines recommend that "the right to and access to safe abortion" should also be discussed.
– Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley defended his participation in Ted Kennedy's funeral after hearing opposition from some conservative Catholics because of Kennedy's support for abortion, the Boston Globereports. The New York Times writes that Kennedy calls the 1969 car accident that killed a woman "inexcusable" in a new memoir coming out. Kennedy writes in another portion of the book, "Some people make mistakes and try to learn from them and do better. Our sins don't define the whole picture of who we are."
– Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin says the Senate is swamped and has little time to go over the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that does not allow openly gays to serve.
– Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was arrested last year on federal corruption charges, is referencing God in his new book.
"I believe there is a purpose behind all that has happened to us. And maybe God has a plan for me to be an instrument for good. And that the troubles we are facing, the lies, the abandonment, the heartbreak, the pain, are all obstacles in the journey we must make, where like the stories in the Bible, God brings good out of bad."
– New York yogis are preparing to fight a state proposal that would require them to spend money on a certification.