Another abstinence-only appointee steps down

Wade Horn resigns as assistant secretary for children and families.

Published April 3, 2007 8:07PM (EDT)

Here's a not-so-fond farewell to the second abstinence-only Bush appointee to resign within the past few days. On Monday, Wade Horn announced that he would be moving on from his post as assistant secretary for children and families at HHS, reports the Associated Press. This is the man responsible for inflating the budget for abstinence-only education to $200 million a year, while 90 percent of schools nationwide lack a comprehensive sex-ed curriculum. When not doggedly protecting teens' right to ignorance about their sexual health, Horn has fought to rehabilitate the institution of marriage (with the help of the $100 million a year Congress set aside for such initiatives).

Just as with the news last week of Eric Keroack's resignation as head of the Office of Population Affairs, there's the (perhaps delusional) hope that the Bush administration will replace Horn with an appropriate candidate. "Because (the abstinence funding) is so contrary to public health, our hope is the next assistant secretary there can have a firmer footing on what the evidence says," said William Smith, vice president for public policy for the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards weighed in with a similar plea: "Horn's political appointment was a classic case of the Bush administration prizing ideology over public health. Horn should be replaced with a public health expert who's a true advocate for teens, women and families."

Yes, hope springs eternal.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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