"Using membership dues paid in part by federal tax dollars, the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) hired the Washington, DC, public relations firm, Creative Response Concepts," writes Scott Swenson. CRC -- best known as the PR firm for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who smeared 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry -- will be heading a "proactive rapid response initiative to counteract negative attacks on abstinence education," reports O'Dwyer's PR Daily. The Nation's blog notes that the formation of NAEA and its hiring of a well-connected conservative PR firm comes after "a frigid winter for the abstinence-only crowd." The Government Accountability Office criticized the funding of abstinence-only programs without checking their "education materials for scientific accuracy," while the Institute of Medicine faulted abstinence programs in the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief as jeopardizing "the vitally important end of saving lives." That's not to mention that the abstinence-only programs "favored by Republicans and their conservative allies have lost momentum with the Democratic takeover of Congress," as O'Dwyer's observes.
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