|Bush Must Back Up Words|
Bush Must Back Up Words
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 30, 2004
Letter to the Editor
To the Editor:
The fact that President Bush uttered the word "condom" in a speech is meaningless unless he is willing to implement the policies behind the promises ("Hope in Bush's view on condoms," Editorial, June 28).
In May 2003, when Bush signed his HIV/AIDS Act, he mentioned the use of condoms in the context of ABC (Abstain, Be faithful, use Condoms). But at the same time, he supported a "conscience clause" that allows faith-based organizations to refuse to disclose information on condom use. In 2002, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention online fact sheet on the effectiveness of condoms in preventing HIV/AIDS transmission was replaced by a version emphasizing abstinence and condom failure rates; information on correct condom use, for example, remains mysteriously absent.
If this speech signals a shift in the administration's policies from unsupported and ideologically driven decisions to those based on scientific evidence, it is time for rejoicing. Unfortunately, its track record makes this seem unlikely.
Originally published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 30, 2004. Reprinted with permission.