DECEMBER 2006 • Issue 2
The PATHWAY (Protection Against Transmission of HIV for Women and Youth Act of 2006) Act was introduced by Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) in the House. It would help fix Bush’s global AIDS initiative, known as PEPFAR. It would eliminate the requirement that one-third of all prevention dollars be spent on abstinence-only programs. It would also address the real prevention needs of women and girls by helping community organizations that promote women’s rights. Check out the “Legislation and Policy” section at PEPFARWatch for more information.
Invest in REAL Prevention Here at Home
The REAL (Real Education About Life) Act, introduced by Rep. Lee in the House and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) in the Senate, would create the only federal funding stream for comprehensive sex education in schools, equipped with accurate information about their sexual health, including how to use a condom. Visit Advocates for Youth or No New Money for more information.
What Can YOU Do?
If you have two minutes, tell your representative to co-sponsor the PATHWAY and REAL Acts. If they’ve already signed on, thank them. Call the congressional switchboard at (202) 225-3121 or send an email through the websites listed above.
If you have 20 minutes: Speak out at a support group or staff meeting about these issues, and pass around a cell phone so everyone can call the congressional switchboard to say how they feel.
If you have an hour:
• Send a 150-words-or-less letter to the editor supporting these bills. Send copies to your representative and senators. Click here for contact information for your local media outlets.
• Meet with a program director, board member, or executive director of local AIDS Service Organization (ASO) to ask them send an organizational letter of support for both bills to Congressmember Lee’s office.
• Email Health GAP and click on “Join the Health GAP Action Network” to work on global issues.
• Sign up for Advocates for Youth’s “3 Rs” (Rights. Respect. Responsibility) campaign to fight for comprehensive sex ed
• If you’re in high school, join the Youth Activist Network
• Find out what’s up with abstinence-only programs in your state.
• To attend a grassroots activist training on these issues, or to learn more about activating service organizations for advocacy, contact Sarah Howell, director of CHAMP Academy or call 401-427-2302 x 2.