By the time she was crowned Miss America in September (2002), Erika Harold had taken her proabstinence message to some 14,000 teens as a spokesman for Project Reality. When she won, however, contest officials – uncomfortable with Harold’s social conservatism (she’s also pro-life) – tried to pressure her into adopting a less controversial campaign: against teen violence and bullying. But Harold refused to be, well, bullied. “If I don’t speak about it now as Miss America,” she explained, “I will be disappointing the thousands of young people…who need assurance that waiting until marriage for sex is the right thing to do.” There was a brief standoff, and the organizers caved.
Source: National Review. November 11, 2002, p. 15.