Questioner at Fusion Forum Demands Bernie Defund Sex Ed Programs That Mention Abstinence

During Monday night’s Iowa Brown and Black Forum on Fusion, socialist Senator Bernie Sanders received questions on issues like education, gun control, and immigration, but also faced a rather bizarre one when a college student stepped to the microphone to ask Sanders if he would defund taxpayer funding for sex education programs in schools that allude to abstinence. 

Co-moderator Alicia Menendez pivoted from discussion of education costs to introducing Simpson College student Molly Monk, who first outlined some statistics about how many states require abstinence as part of their curriculum: “37 states require that sex education include abstinence. Of these states, 25 are required that abstinence be stressed more than any other form and of these states, only 14 require that your sex education contain verifiable facts.”

Proclaiming how “[m]ore than half of American teenagers are sexually active and we know that birth control is critical to preventing not only pregnancy, but HIV and STDs which disproportionately affect youth,” Monk demanded: “Will you end the federal funding that is being poured into these programs for these out-of-step ideas?”

A simple Google search would reveal that this was not the first time Monk had an opportunity to questions Sanders. According to a November 16 article in the Des Moines Register

Sanders spoke at Simpson Sunday night and the first question came from senior Molly Monk.

“Senator Sanders, in the past 24 hours you have spoken at two private universities, Drake University and Simpson College,” Monk said. “Your plan to eliminate tuition at public universities would put private colleges out of business. Do you think that places like Drake and Simpson deserve to be protected?”

Sanders replied his plan is about making college affordable and available to all Americans, but that is not an attack on “great private universities like Drake.”

The relevant portion of the transcript from Fusion’s Iowa Brown and Black Forum on January 11 can be found below.

Fusion’s The Iowa Brown and Black Forum
January 11, 2016
8:24 p.m. Eastern

ALICIA MENENDEZ: Senator, speaking of college students, we’ve got some students in the audience with questions. Here’s Molly from Simpson College. 

MOLLY MONK: Hello, Senator Sanders. My name’s Molly Monk and as she just said, I’m a senior at Simpson College. 37 states require that sex education include abstinence. Of these states, 25 are required that abstinence be stressed more than any other form and of these states, only 14 require that your sex education contain verifiable facts. More than half of American teenagers are sexually active and we know that birth control is critical to preventing not only pregnancy, but HIV and STDs which disproportionately affect youth. Will you end the federal funding that is being poured into these programs for these out-of-step ideas?

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center