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Monday, May 25, 2009

Leslee's Latest Laughable Lie: "I've Never Liked Federal Money"

Big hat tip to DakotaWomen for pointing out the biggest whopper Leslee Unruh has ever told:

"I've never liked federal money," she said, decrying the restrictions attached to such grants. "If I had my way, I'd want no federal money going for this" [Josh Verges, "Abstinence-Only Focus Loses Favor, Money," that Sioux Falls paper, 2009.05.24].


Abstinence-until-marriage education was first given federal money in the early 1990s. The introduction of abstinence funds and abstinence education in schools coincided with the dramatic decreases in the teen pregnancy and abortion rates [Leslee J. Unruh, expressing no distaste for federal funds at all in testimony before U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, 2001.11.15]

The U.S. government has increased funding for the the Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) grant program by $11 million for 2006. Leslee Unruh, president of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, told the Dakota Voice that the decision was “a victory for America's children.”

The increase was made to the appropriations bill by the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.

President George W. Bush had initially requested an increase of $39 million for abstinence education in his proposed budget. But Unruh said she is grateful for the $11-million increase in this year of fiscal restraint.

Unruh said the increased funding is “a clear mandate to improve the health of the next generation and abstinence education is the best way to do that"[Catholic News Agency, "Federal Funding Increased for Abstinence Programs," 2005.06.14].

“The million dollar question remains: What will lawmakers do on the floor?" Unruh asked. "Are they going to continue to take the evidence to heart, stand up for the health and well-being of our young people, and fund programs that work? If the increase in abstinence finding is any indication, I think the answer is yes. Unfortunately, more than a billion dollars remain in the budget to fund ideologically driven programs that put youth at risk by promoting promiscuity."

"The Abstinence Clearinghouse thanks Members of the House of Representatives who paid close attention to the mounting research, and appropriated an increase to responsible education about sexual integrity. Tonight’s decision was a clear mandate to improve the health of the next generation. Abstinence education is the best way to do that," Unruh concluded ["Lawmakers Hear Students' Voices Loud and Clear, Says Abstinence Clearinghouse," available at strangely malfunctioning Dakota Voice webpage, 2005.06.17. Also posted at "This is not a job for superheroes: Voices carry" 2005.06.25].

But Unruh's agenda does not rely on elections going her way. It's cash she's after, and she feels certain she can get it, whoever occupies the White House. "If we can't get abstinence money, we'll apply for education grants or antidrug funds," she says. "I know how Washington works now" [Amanda Robb, "Leslee Unruh's Facts of Life," More, September 2008].

I cannot conceive of telling lies as big as the ones Leslee Unruh is willing to put in the press. To lie that big, I would have to abandon any sense of a coherent, integral self.

Leslee Unruh has actively lobbied to win federal funding for her preferred social programs. She has praised such funding. And now she says she never liked that federal funding. Nothing describes this turn of phrase more aptly than one word: lie.

Update 14:55 CDT: Doug Wiken offers more good perspective on Leslee's lying, as does SD Humanist (thanks for the mention!). Pat Powers conspicuously avoids commentary.

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