In the President’s eighth and current budget proposal, there was a removal of a $10 million-a-year grant that was used specifically for the continuation of abstinence only education in the United States. In continuing tradition, Congress refused to even see the budget. But this brings up an important topic, the changing tides of sexual education in the United States, and the availability of tools for safe sex.
The current positions of the Catholic University of America and the Catholic Church are aligned; they both belive in only promoting abstinence. But that isn’t necessarily feasible on our campus.
It is safe to say that students use condoms and birth control pills on campus. Safe sex is the new way that sexual education is leaning towards, and the university has a a responsibility to adapt.
A private institution has the ability to institue any policy it wants without having to conform to the mandates of the government. That isn’t necessarily the right way going forward on this topic, especially considering that there are students that are not Catholic on campus. Providing alternatives makes sense, especially when considering that the university’s population is growing more diverse, both religiously and culturally.
The Catholic Church has an ironclad stance: sex should be used exclusively for the purpose of procreation, so no condoms, no birth control, no pre-marital sex. This is a fine policy. To excercise this is the right of the administrators of our school and the right of the Catholic faith, but what President Obama is saying with this budgetary action is that by educating only on this technique necessarily pregnancies are not necessarily prevented.
So, if this university and the Catholic Church wish to prevent unwanted pregnancies, which they obviously do, but at the same time cater to the non-Catholic students, there needs to be options within easy reach of a curious student.
No one is attacking the postion of the university, no one is saying that the proper execution of abstinence is not the correct way. There are just a number of factors that cannot be accounted for with the current system in place, and when a system does not function at peak efficiency you need to update it.
Pope Francis recently came out in support of contaceptives in order to prevent the spread of the Zika Virus, so what is to say that the university could not concede a few resources in order to help out the students on our campus that might want to have sex in a safe way, while still conforming to the policies of the church? Stranger things have happened.