In today’s news from my home state that makes me want to scream, Governor Pawlenty turned down a chance to get $850,000 from the federal government to teach Minnesota’s teens about STDs and contraception.
Think it’s pretty stupid to turn down no-strings-attached money from the federal government when your state is facing a severe budget crisis? Yep! But hey—at least Pawlenty is acting on (some sort of) principle: apparently he turned down the grant because “he is striving to find ways to stop” the implementation of health reform in Minnesota. So that’s why he rejected a $500,000 grant for abstinence-only money that was also funded by health care reform? Oh wait, that’s right, he didn’t: he’ll ante up the $379,000 in matching state funds to get that one.
The decision was (unsurprisingly) condemned by all the people who make it their business to know and care about adolescent health and was supported by one Tom Prichard, head of the Minnesota Family Council, who had this to say:
“It’s better to spend no money on sex education if it’s going to have a condom message. You are pouring fuel on the fire.”
That’s right—it’s better to spend no money on sex education than tell kids about condoms even when it isn’t even your own money you’re spending. While Prichard may just be really stupid, Pawlenty is clearly “putting his national political ambitions ahead of the health of young Minnesotans”. And both deserve to be punished forever in a special hell filled with crying, unwanted babies and genital warts.