At a recent Capitol Hill briefing, Concerned Women for America (CWA) released a report on the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases. Now available online, “Sexually Transmitted Diseases: The Cost of Free Love,” written by the Beverly LaHaye Institute Research Fellow Brenda Zurita, identifies and discusses 49 sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in detail and is the most comprehensive and extensive report about STDs available today.
In addition to the dignitaries in the full room at the briefing, many young congressional staffers and interns in the D.C. area, who represent the age group targeted in the report, were also in attendance. Mrs. Zurita’s research identified 49 STDs, constituting one definitive list of current STDs. Of the 19 million new STD infections the CDC estimates occur in the United States each year, almost half of them are in young people in their teens and early twenties.
Penny Nance, CWA’s Chief Executive Officer, opened the briefing and then introduced the moderator, Mrs. Nancy Staible, a former CWA board member and state director for Pennsylvania. The medical review of the report was done by Mrs. Staible who is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Physicians Assistants.
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-North Carolina), who is also a registered nurse, participated in the panel discussion and praised the report as an important resource. Rep. Ellmers has almost 20 years of nursing experience and shared some of the cases she witnessed of people struggling with the consequences of sexually transmitted diseases, especially infertility. She urged the young people at the briefing to educate themselves about STDs and to wait to have sex until they are married so they would not have to confront the problems she discussed.
Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Senior Fellow and Director of CWA’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, presented an overview of the report and emphasized how young girls and women are disproportionately vulnerable to the damage caused by STDs. She summed up the report’s findings by quoting from it, “Forty-nine sexually transmitted diseases, 19 million new STD infections each year, and 65 million Americans living with an incurable STD are the legacies of early sexual debut, multiple partners, homosexuality, and engaging in unprotected sex. Promiscuity does not lead to fulfillment; it leads to disease.”
Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA), also participated on the panel and stressed the importance of abstinence education. Mrs. Huber discussed the disproportionate amount of money spent on comprehensive sex education compared to the amount spent on abstinence education ($16 spent on comprehensive sex education for every $1 spent on abstinence education).
Click here to visit CWA’s Sexually Transmitted Diseases: The Cost of Free Love web page for the full report and links to related articles.