For the Bush administration, promoting abstinence is more than a pipe dream, it’s a keystone of our foreign policy:

Standing before a hall packed with representatives from over 30 Asian countries, Dewey stated unequivocally that the U.S. would seek to block the passage of any international family planning policy that permits abortion or promotes contraception for adolescents. “The United States supports the sanctity of life from conception to natural death,” he said. “There has been a concerted effort to create a gulf by pushing the United States to violate its principles and accept language that promotes abortion.”

One might ask how the promotion of abstinence has worked here in the United States for the last few hundred years. Why can’t we just go ahead and declare that trying to prevent teen pregnancy by telling teenagers that sex is bad is an utter and complete failure? It seems like that’s fairly obvious to most teens. And the real kicker is, even other religious nations aren’t buying our crap:

U.S. delegates argued bitterly against the inclusion of such phrases in the proposal until the last day of the conference, when, faced with an impasse, the conference took a vote — an unusual tactic for U.N. conferences. The U.S. lost the first vote to exclude language on “reproductive rights” — 31-1. They lost the second — over “adolescent reproductive health” — 32-1.

The opposition votes included such bastions of liberalism as Iran and the Philippines. By the way, the Washington Post has done some great reporting on this issue recently as well. More interesting are the cases where we actually find ourselves arguing for our side alongside the same Islamic countries that are basically opposed to every facet of American society.

Followup posted here.