By Tony Perkins
Are you willing to contract HIV to prove how “tolerant” you are? If the FDA repeals its blood bank policy, you may not have a choice. At a meeting of the Food and Drug Administration this morning, liberal activists went for the jugular in their latest push to overturn its ban on blood donations from those who engage in risky sexual behavior. The debate, which seems to resurface every year at the FDA and HHS, refuses to die — even though people could with radical changes to the government’s 30-year-ban.
This time around, homosexual groups are more confident than ever that the administration will roll back the prohibition, despite the increased risks it poses to the U.S. population. As FRC’s Peter Sprigg testified at today’s meeting, “Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men represent approximately 2% of the United States population, yet . . . in 2010, gay and bisexual men accounted for 63% of estimated new HIV infections in the United States and 78% of infections among all newly infected men.”
The FDA created the rule — not out of prejudice, but precaution. Now, a growing chorus of liberals is insisting that federal agencies should ignore the risks so that homosexuals feel “more accepted” in society. In other words, the Left is willing to taint the U.S. blood banks to make a political point. If the FDA wants to protect people’s health, it has to be selective. The government can’t afford to contaminate the blood supply just to validate people’s risky sexual behavior.
Not to mention, Peter points out, that the very small size of the LGBT population (2.3% according to this year’s CDC survey) means that any potential benefits to the blood bank would be “marginal.” In fact, the only thing they would add with 100% certainty is liability. Yet every year, the government wastes taxpayers’ time and money debating what is nothing but a naked push to normalize and celebrate homosexual behavior. The blood donation policy doesn’t exist to serve a political agenda — and it shouldn’t be changed to advance one. Even if the new screening can detect virtually all tainted blood, no test is completely safe. And the government shouldn’t be willing to risk America’s blood supply to prove it. To listen to Peter Sprigg’s testimony from earlier today, click here.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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