Criminalization of Abstinence Education Sought By Obama's Court Nominee
Washington, DC (July 23, 2013) It is difficult to exaggerate the extremist views of Cornelia Pillard, a current presidential nominee for the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. As the Senate debates her nomination on Wednesday of this week, NAEA urges them to reject this appointment.
Pillard’s visceral opposition to abstinence education, coupled with her copious misinformation on the subject, calls into question her fitness for the position. Under the banner of “sex equality” she attempts to make a constitutional argument that abstinence education denies equal protection to female students.
According to Pillard, abstinence education rises to the level of constitutional violation due to the fact that it is “designed not only to expose students to ideas, but also to shape student behavior.”*
She blatantly distorts the manner in which abstinence programs share information and empower health behaviors. Ms. Pillard mischaracterizes the approach by asserting: “Retrogressive gender ideology, prescribing chastity and maternity for women while assuming lustfulness and autonomy for men, is at the heart of today's abstinence-only education movement. In that regard, the abstinence- only approach conflicts with the substantive norms of both equal protection and reproductive justice.”*
Her spurious charge ignores the fact that abstinence education programs seek optimal heath outcomes for all students - male and female. She maligns an approach that explicitly advocates a single sexual standard, prides itself in empowering young men and women, and that promotes health and well being of the individual and society in general.
Cornelia Pillard must be held accountable for her reckless attacks. Valerie Huber, President/CEO of NAEA states: “NAEA urges Congress and common-sense citizens to vigorously oppose a nominee who voices a total disregard for the facts about abstinence education and shows a frightening desire to aggressively use the Constitution to promote her radical ideological views.”
*A copy of Cornelia Pillard’s views on abstinence education can be found here.
To interview Valerie Huber, please contact Christine Eckley at 202-248-5420 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAEA is a professional association representing organizations and individuals who support a priority on risk avoidance through abstinence education. NAEA members serve students across the nation. For more information, visit the NAEA website: www.theNAEA.org and www.abstinenceworks.org.