Tuesday, February 12, 2008

When Uncle Sam Plays Cupid

By Jean Hardisty

Romance and marriage proposals are in the air on Valentine's Day. Unfortunately, cupid isn’t the only matchmaker hard at work this season. An increasing number of low-income women find themselves pushed to the altar -- not by their relations or suitors, but by the federal government.


Friday, February 08, 2008

Abstinence-Only Defies Voters’ Priorities

By Dr. Charles Jaynes and Margery Engel Loeb
A year ago, Governor Rick Perry showed great leadership when he issued an executive order requiring the state's sixth grade girls to get the HPV vaccine, to prevent cervical cancer. It was a bold move for a state that is conflicted about how best to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

But, if Gov. Perry truly wants to stop the spread of STDs, he will change the state's policy that allows teaching abstinence-only sex education. Recent studies have revealed that an abstinence-only plan won't stop the spread of STDs or decrease the rates of teen pregnancy.

Texas teenagers lead the nation in birth rates, and, as new figures from the National Center for Health Statistics show, after 14 years of steady decline, teen pregnancy rates went up 3 percent across the country in 2006. To many public health officials and educators, the cause for the increases in pregnancy was apparent: since 1996 the only federal funding available to states for sex education is for "abstinence-only" curricula.


Listen to an Audio Version of this Commentary below:

Learning Starts At Birth

By June St. Clair Atkinson and Stephanie Fanjul

To truly prevent the dropouts of tomorrow, our work begins at the very start: the day a child is born. Why? Because children are born learning, and if we wait until third or first grade or even kindergarten to pay attention to what they've missed, it's already late in the game.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

What’s the Next Step for Health Care

By Lydia Pendley

There is a small window of opportunity for New Mexico to take the next important step toward real health care reform that will lead to a rational, affordable system of health coverage and health care for all people living in the state.

There is still time in the 2008 legislative session for action, if our legislators have the political will to create the infrastructure that will lead to a sound, evidence-based plan for health care for all by the longer 2009 legislative session.