November 4th, 2008
Yes, the time has finally come when we have the chance to say a cheery ‘good bye’ to the Bush administration.
In case you’re wondering what you might be missing here are a few ‘Bushisms’ for good measure
I’ve been hearing a lot recently that we can’t be too hard on Bush because he organised for a lot of funding for Africa – particularly around HIV/AIDS. Which is true. The US has been one of the most generous supporters of HIV programmes in Africa. That’s partly because other countries have been poor in honouring their promises to offer aid. But before we offer too much praise it’s worth remembering that much of the funding from the US government (as opposed to independent US HIV charities) was targeted at abstinence only educational programmes. This not only increased the HIV risk and was not found to work long term, but also led to confusion where communities were having abstinence only projects imposed alongisde condom-provision ones.
With cuts inside the US to sex education programmes (apart from those promoting abstinence), restrictions on obtaining terminations, and scuppering of over-the-counter delivery of the morning after pill (emergency contraception), it’s not hard to see why many sex positive educators haven’t had a lot of time for the Bush administration.
What happens next remains to be seen. There have been promises by McCain/Palin to further restrict access to terminations and limit sex education (particularly messages around homosexuality and premarital sex). Obama has indicated a more liberal approach (although at the same time suggesting he doesn’t necessarily approve of some issues – for example terminations). I know my friends working in sexual health/education in the US are mostly hoping for an Obama victory, but all of them are also uncertain of what the future for sex ed and healthcare will hold – particularly for children and teens.
One of my favourite bloggers and sex experts Susie Bright has promised to keep us up to date with the election as it happens on her blog. So if you’re interested in hearing what’s going on make sure you take a trip over to her place.
And I’ll leave you with the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus with a tune that some of you may recognise….