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Greetings {FIRST_NAME}, July 24, 2009

Churches Begin Process of ULTRA Teen Choice Chapter Formation

STAR Guide Ongel Dasilva

ULTRA Teen Choice STAR Guides spoke during the Youth Sunday Service at Christian Love Baptist Church in Northeast Washington, DC on Sunday, July 12. Ongel Dasilva, who attends the University of Maryland at College Park shared about how sexual abstinence has been an integral part of her path toward success in her life. She also spoke about how ULTRA Teen Choice has given her an opportunity to share this crucial message with other youth. STAR Guide Yun-a Johnson also shared about how abstinence is not only a personal commitment, but it helps society, too.

Yun-a asked for a show of hands from the youth who would be interested in the ULTRA Teen Choice. A couple of youth responded, and then after service ULTRA Teen Choice Executive Director spoke with their parents. These parents pulled together two more interested parents, and the Christian Love Baptist Church ULTRA Teen Choice team was formed.

The following Sunday, July 19, the team met with Richard to review some of the ULTRA Teen Choice materials. Pastor Brown asked the team to take responsibility for the project, including a financial commitment. The project is moving ahead, and the team will meet with Richard again this coming Sunday.

Call Richard at 202-558-5550 so your church or worship place can benefit by forming an ULTRA Teen Choice Chapter, or fill out the application at http://www.ultrateenchoice.org/.


Health Advocacy Coalition Announces Initiative to stop HIV/AIDS Pandemic in Washington, DC

Health Advocacy Coalition Members
Health Advocacy Coalition Press Conference

The Health Advocacy Coalition held a press conference on July 16 at Whitman Walker Clinic Max Robinson Center. Dr. Jay Carrington Chunn, Director of the National Center for Health Behavioral Change that the actual rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Washington DC is 7%. A bill "To require the Mayor to develop a standardized HIV/AIDs behavioral prevention-intervention taxonomy system that will focus on and emphasize peer-based prevention-intervention programs for the District's neighborhoods and at risk population mixes" is being held up by Health committee chair David Catania.

ULTRA Teen Choice Executive Director Richard Urban pointed out that there is a "prevention disparity" in the District of Columbia. There is no District funding for programs that encourage and support youth, as well as adults, to remain sexually abstinent or to return to sexual abstinence in preparation for marriage. (See the letter to the Editor of the Washington Times below).

Update on same sex marriage issue in Washington, DC

The Washington, DC Board of Elections and Ethics denied the petition by Bishop Harry Jackson and the High Impact Leadership to place the law recognizing same sex "marriages" before Washington DC voters as a referendum. The DC Superior refused to overturn the Election Board's decision. Many believe that this is a prelude to introducing a bill legalizing same sex "marriage". ULTRA Teen Choice Executive Director Richard Urban testified before the Board of Elections and Ethics during the hearing held on June 10. Mr. Urban testified "Marriage is recognized by the state because the formation and raising of families benefits the larger society, and the state has an interest in protecting the health and welfare of its members. However, marriage is defined by natural law, not by the state; two men or two women by themselves can never procreate. The state only has a secondary interest in marriage; its is primarily a natural and also sp ritual bond."

Letter to the Editor of the Washington Times featured as "Letter of the Day"

The article "AIDS myths persist" (Citizen Journalism, Web, Wednesday) provides misleading information about HIV/AIDS prevention. It implies that Angela Parker, the young lady who is abstaining from sex and also appears to have a faith conviction, is misinformed. The next young man quoted indicates that if he contracted HIV, he would return to sexual abstinence. ....

The article subsequently describes Metro TeenAIDS as an organization "promot[ing] responsible decision-making among teens." Metro TeenAIDS promotes secondary prevention (i.e., using condoms) almost exclusively. This approach comes in spite of the fact that the teens quoted in the article naturally tend to abstain from sex to protect their health. The organization also actively opposes groups that encourage sexual abstinence in preparation for marriage.

With twice as many high school teens in the District abstaining in 2007 (42 percent) as compared to 1994 (21 percent), according to the Youth Risk Behavior Risk Surveillance System, the District government and health organizations would do well to promote the primary behavior-change prevention method of sexual abstinence instead of only promoting condom use through campaigns such as the million condoms campaign. (Read the entire letter)


YOUth Awakening Revolution featured in the Washington Times

The Citizen Journalism article "Teens Take Stand for Sexual Purity" was featured in the Washington Times on June 12, 2009.

"God, what is my purpose? How can I make a difference in the world?" That's what Lynura Jones, who served as mistress of ceremonies, said she asked upon learning that blacks account for 55 percent of reported HIV infections among 13- to 24-year olds. "The Christian community, if no one else, needs to stand up, because we have been quiet for way too long." Read the whole article .


 

Youth Forum 2009
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Action Alert

President Obama's budget has called for zero funding for abstinence centered health education programs. (Formerly funded since 1996 under Title V block grants, plus Community based abstinence Education grants, and title 20 grants)

This week’s vote to restore Title V Abstinence Education Block Grants failed by only 3 votes in the House Energy & Commerce Committee. This bipartisan vote in a committee controlled by the vitriolic abstinence opponent, Henry
Waxman (D-CA) should encourage abstinence proponents that we can still win
the battle for the sexual health of America’s youth! If more grassroots
organizations had contacted their Members of Congress, this “near miss” could

have been an “historic win”.
 
If you've never responded to an action alert, now is the time to do so!
 

 
Next week will provide up to two more opportunities – this time in the Senate.
 
 
  • Senate Labor H Appropriations markup is scheduled to take place Tuesday, July 28.
 
 
  • Senate Finance Health Care Reform markup may also be debated next week.
What to do:
  • Call your Senators, beginning at 9:00 am Thursday, July 23 and continuing until you hear news of a vote
  • Phone the United States Capitol switchboard at  (202) 224-3121. They can connect you directly to your two Senators' Offices.
What to say: Ask them to maintain continued, separate, funding for abstinence education because the youth in your state depend upon their support.
 
What to do next:
Then call your friends, your family, your colleagues and ask them to
continue the call chain.   Tens of thousands of calls to Senators will send
the unmistakable message that abstinence education must continue!
 
 
The future of abstinence education may be determined by your action.
We are stronger together.  Make your voice heard now.
 

(Forward this alert on to all who care about the future of youth)
For more information see:
http://www.abstinenceassociation.org/

http://www.abstinenceworks.org/

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