The City That Never Sleeps...Alone
December 12, 2012 - Wednesday
The only thing higher than the Empire State Building may be New York City's sexually transmitted disease rate! According to a new report from the Department of Health, the spread of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis is through the roof in almost every one of the city's neighborhoods. Researchers tracked 181 zip codes and found that a third of them were in the top 20 percent for, not just one, but multiple STDs. Of all the regions, the Bronx fared the worst. A whopping 68 percent of its neighborhoods were in the highest percentiles for two or more diseases. From Brooklyn to Manhattan and every borough in between, sexual disease is ravaging the local population. "Only Staten Island had no high-morbidity zip codes," the AP reports.
Everywhere else, residents seem to be reaping the consequences of the city's emphasis on carefree sex. As local leaders will tell you, New York City distributes more condoms, performs more abortions, and engages in more explicit sex education than almost any region in the country. Earlier this year, the city even launched a test program called CATCH, Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Healthcare, which gives high school students the option of getting regular birth control injections, the morning-after pill, and condoms at their schools without ever calling parents.
And what has the city gotten for its trouble? Thousands more sexually-related diseases -- most of them incurable, and all of them expensive. According to the CDC, a single case of HIV costs $400,000 to treat over a lifetime. But instead of discouraging promiscuity, the U.S. is pouring millions of dollars into STD treatments -- all because the government doesn't want to confront people about the dangers of premarital sex.
In this age of "sexual freedom," our culture -- and now our tax dollars -- are promoting sexual activity with anyone at any time with complete disregard for the physical toll. It's as if sex were the new constitutional right. But empowering people to pursue sexual satisfaction at any cost is leaving America in a position of vulnerability from which it might never recover. Every year, countless hearts and bodies are broken by STDs -- and as many as 30,000 people lose their lives. How many more will have to die before Americans wake up and start advocating a little self-restraint?
Troop Bill Takes Aim at Unborn
It's not the deal most Americans are waiting for, but Congress is days away from agreeing on a final Defense Authorization bill. That could be particularly significant for social conservatives, who have a big stake in the finished product. For the past 16 years, the military has had the most life-honoring laws of any federal government department. Despite FRC's efforts, that could all change this week if conferees agree to new exceptions on the DOD's abortion law. Since the Clinton administration, the Defense Department's rule has been to finance abortions -- only to save the mother's life.
Today, Congress is considering a major break with military policy and weighing whether or not to funnel taxpayer dollars to abortions in the cases of rape and incest as well. Although victims of sexual assault are free to pursue an abortion privately, taxpayers have never been forced to fund them. While the issue is a sensitive one, we believe abortion is never a loving solution for the mother or the child. The circumstances surrounding a pregnancy from rape or incest are extremely difficult, but one brutal act of violence against a woman doesn't justify the government encouraging a second act of violence against an unborn child. Everyone has a right to life -- even those whose lives begin in horrible situations like these.
House and Senate conferees also have a chance to do in the Defense bill what West Point and other bases have not: protect the sanctity of marriage in the military and conscience rights of chaplains. In the House version of the legislation, two amendments were passed to that effect. As the chambers iron out their differences, we encourage leaders on both sides to fight for the inclusion of these measures in the final bill.
Have Yourself a MARRI Little Christmas
It's not their IQ score. It's not even where they go to school. No, the strongest influence on how well your children do in school is you. According to a new study, having two married parents may be the best educational advantage you can give your kids. Based on data from 1.6 million children, Michael Rosenfeld confirms what FRC's research has shown for some time: children from intact, married families were 35.4% more likely to do well in school than kids in homosexual homes. Also, children adopted into heterosexual families fared better -- with a 24% edge in school progress over kids in same-sex families.
Rosenfeld's data, which was just published by the journal Demography, only confirms other research like Dr. Mark Regnerus's, who noticed that children raised in homosexual homes have poorer educational attainment than other kids. Both studies put a damper on the fictional idea that homosexual parents are equal to -- or better than -- married moms and dads. FRC's Dr. Pat Fagan has published reams of research to the contrary, which you can find at the Marriage and Religious Research Institute (MARRI) website. Add faith to the mix and parents are only advancing these children further. If you want to give your kids a head start in life -- academically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually -- the formula is simple: stay married and go to church!
** Move over cookies and campfires! The Girl Scouts have another agenda in mind. Find out what it is in Cathy Ruse's new Washington Times column, "Girl Scouts Oppose Gender Norms."