FRC to Testify in Support of Current Blood Donation Policy

Jun 10, 2010, 14:59 ET from Family Research Council

Will Urge Committee to Protect Public Health, Resist those Advancing Socio-Political Agenda

WASHINGTON, June 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tomorrow (Friday, June 11), Family Research Council Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg will testify before the Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability (ACBSA) of the Department of Health and Human Services.  He will urge the advisory committee to maintain the current policy which permanently defers men who have had sex with men since 1977 as blood donors.

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Peter Sprigg, Family Research Council's Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, made the following comments in advance of tomorrow's public hearing:

"I will urge the committee to maintain the current policy which permanently defers men who have had sex with men since 1977 as blood donors. This policy is based on a well-documented behavioral risk — nothing more, and nothing less.

"Any change in this policy should occur only if it can be demonstrated that it will improve both the availability and the safety of the nation's blood supply. No such evidence is available."

The Food and Drug Administration itself has noted, "Men who have had sex with men since 1977 have an HIV prevalence... 60 times higher than the general population, 800 times higher than first time blood donors and 8000 times higher than repeat blood donors."

(http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/BloodBloodProducts/QuestionsaboutBlood/ucm108186.htm)  

Sprigg also added, "I understand that there are many people who wish to advance the socio-political goal of winning greater acceptance of homosexuality. However, the blood donation policy does not exist to serve socio-political purposes, nor should it be changed to advance them."

"Only the scientific evidence matters, and it indicates that the current policy should remain in place," concluded Sprigg.

The ACBSA meeting will hear public comments from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 11, at the Universities at Shady Grove, 9630 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD 20850.  

SOURCE Family Research Council



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