Thursday, April 3, 2008

Obama and McCain Tackle HIV/AIDS Prevention... (or don't tackle it as in McCain's case...)

Obama gave a speech Saturday at which the media harped on his use of the word "punished." Obama spoke about HIV/AIDS prevention through education and safe sex. He said:

"When it comes specifically to HIV/AIDS, the most important prevention is education, which should include abstinence education and teaching the children, you know, that sex is not something casual. But it should also include other, you know, information about contraception because, look, I've got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby. I don't want them punished with an STD at the age of 16. You know, so it doesn't make sense to not give them information."

In GREEN is what the media mostly cared about.

In BLUE is what i mostly cared about. Yes, comparing a child with an STD in the same breath may not have been a great campaign strategy, but our focus should be on the fact that Obama is promoting comprehensive sex education while so many other politicians preach abstinence.

For example, back in March 2007 in Iowa, McCain was asked a few questions about HIV/AIDS prevention as well, here was his response (via NYT):

Q: “What about grants for sex education in the United States? Should they include instructions about using contraceptives? Or should it be Bush’s policy, which is just abstinence?”

McCain: (Long pause) “Ahhh. I think I support the president’s policy.”

Q: “So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?”

McCain: (Long pause) “You’ve stumped me.”

Q: “I mean, I think you’d probably agree it probably does help stop it?”

McCain: (Laughs) “Are we on the Straight Talk express? I’m not informed enough on it. Let me find out. You know, I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception – I’m sure I’m opposed to government spending on it, I’m sure I support the president’s policies on it.”

Q: “But you would agree that condoms do stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Would you say: ‘No, we’re not going to distribute them,’ knowing that?”

McCain: (Twelve-second pause) “Get me Coburn’s thing, ask Weaver to get me Coburn’s paper that he just gave me in the last couple of days. I’ve never gotten into these issues before.”

In my opinion, McCain's idiocy should worry us much much more than Obama expressing he doesn't want his 9 and 6 year old girls becoming pregnant due to lack of education. Right?


UPDATE: Jess from Feministing just put up a post on a survey in FL that found some kids think drinking a cap full of bleach prevents HIV and Mountain Dew is an effective means of birth control... wow... further reason we need new administration and comprehensive sex education...

2 comments:

Meg said...

And I quote:
"You know, I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception – I’m sure I’m opposed to government spending on it, I’m sure I support the president’s policies on it.”

This may be one of the top 10 unsettling comments McCain has made in this whole nomination season. Both for the content of the discussion and for the general nature of his treatment of the question and his inability to remember his stance or if he even has one!! Ouch. I can just picture him now sitting next to Mitt in the Oval office wondering what his stance with Iran is this week and whether or not we should bomb them!

GottabeMe said...

Yup, I quoted the same statements from McCain on my blog a while ago. Absolutely humiliating that someone who admits such ignorance is running, successfully, for President of the US!

I agree that comparing STDs to babies (which was not the intention, but was how I'm sure some conservative pro-life types saw Obama's statement) was not the smartest move, but he's right! Keeping kids ignorant puts them at greater risk of unwanted teen pregnancy AND disease! And neither of those should be seen as a fitting "punishment" for sexual activity!