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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Cincinnati Enquirer: Ripped For Rightwing Abstinence-Only Story

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The morning metro daily newspaper in Cincinnati is under attack for failing to report that teen pregnancies have declined because kids are using contraceptives. Instead, the newspaper openly appeared to side with Republican rightwingers who claim abstinence programs are responsible for the reduced birth rate.

Major H/T to JMZ at Writes Like She Talks for catching the criticism of Cincinnati's morning newspaper, which many Dems consider a journalistic organ determinedly resistant to anything progressive.

It is widely known that the Cincinnati Enquirer, Ohio's third-largest newspaper, has been in bed with Republicans for years on its editorial page, and endorsed Republican Ken Blackwell last year in his unsuccessful race against Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, who just recently announced he's eliminating funding for abstinence-only education programs. Blackwell is an abstinence education backer.

But Strickland apparently has seen slight evidence that warning teens not to have sex is practical, considering hormones and genes and millions of years of human nature that programs young people to procreate after puberty. In fact, public schools in Cincinnati and across the state teach broad-based sex education as part of a health education curriculum, including information about various methods of birth control. They teach it all.

Remember, this is a paper whose publisher, Margaret Buchanan, is a declared Republican, a Republican who accepted an appointment to the University of Cincinnati board of trustees. In other words, she holds a patronage position.

Amanda Marcotte, the former John Edwards blogger who was a bit too outspoken for the campaign, wrote on Pandragon that the Enquirer's story last week was hollow and biased. It omitted basic information about contraception.

"The alternative is probably one of two things -- either drop sex education completely, which is still better than telling kids lies about how condoms don't work, or to provide comprehensive sex education and encourage kids to use contraception when they do have sex that they don't want to result in STDs or unwanted pregrancy, which they will at some point in their lives, yes, even if they're married. The article fails to note that the reason teenage pregnancies is down because teens are using more contraception than they ever have before."

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