If They Only Knew

June 4, 2007

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

I sit reflecting on a day of rounds in Washington D.C., talking with people who have the power to change what our children learn about sex.  This week, eight meetings with Congressmen and Congresswomen who will vote on funding needed to bring abstinence education to the children we all love.

I have talked with strong supporters of abstinence education.  And with fierce opponents.  In all cases, our talk has been cordial.  I welcome questions and try my best to supply answers, making a list of follow up reports and experts who might answer what I can’t.

Prepared with statistics and testimonials about the positive impact of abstinence education on our youth, I find these fall on the deaf ears of those members of Congress who have been poisoned by rhetoric from Planned Parenthood, NARAL, SIECUS, and the ACLU*. I try my best to convey the truths about abstinence education, but one simple thought is renewed at the end of each appointment…If They Only Knew…

If they only knew, if they sat in abstinence classes taught by the educators I know, if they heard the questions of the students, and the answers that follow, if they knew the hearts of the parents and teachers…if they only knew…there would be no way a conscionable person could deny this education to the children and parents who want it.

If they would sit in a class, hear presentations on the consequences of STDs for a teen…for adults…diseases impacting their lifelong goals and the future marriages and families most of them hope to have…

If they would listen to a lesson on teen pregnancy, the demands it places on everyone involved, the challenges it poses for teens in finishing a high school education, the struggles of a single mother providing for a child the attention and resources that two-parent families have at hand…

If they would participate in classroom activities and discussions where students share their hopes for the future, their dreams for happiness and their plans to make their hopes and dreams a reality…

If they would…then these Congressional policy makers would know why sexual abstinence is the singular message our youth need to hear, a message that points to the path that guarantees that the hopes and dreams of our teens will not be derailed by the consequences of sexual activity.

But they haven’t.  Many of these policy makers haven’t witnessed the realities of the very education they will vote on.  They haven’t seen the eager and thankful reception of abstinence education by teens who know the truth when someone takes the time to present it.

They haven’t…so I invite them.  Please, we would love to have you, our Congressional member, or one of the members of your staff come and visit our classes and see for yourselves.  If you see it, you will know the truth of what is happening in abstinence education, the truth and support given teens in choosing to remain sexually abstinent, securing their healthiest and happiest futures.  Please, we want you to see for yourselves.

There is precious little time for Members of Congress to see the realities of abstinence education before they vote on abstinence funding.  It is painful to think people who oppose abstinence education and vote against it may also be people who have never taken the time to see it in action for themselves.

If they only knew!