by Steven Ertelt
June 6, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — More than 200 groups in states across the country have banded together to form a new coalition to target state and federal funding for abstinence education. The No More Money campaign intends to stop public funds from going to organizations that help teenagers avoid abortions and sexually transmitted diseases by abstaining from sex.
The campaign is mostly funded and supported by abortion advocacy groups and Planned Parenthood abortion businesses.
William Smith, vice president for public policy at the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS), one of the leading groups coordinating the effort, said the campaign is "asking Congress to stop funding these harmful programs."
"For far too long, these harmful programs have gone unchecked, allowing ideologically driven lawmakers to pour millions of taxpayer dollars into these programs," Smith explained. "We intend for the No More Money campaign to lead the charge to change all that."
Since 1998, close to $1 billion in federal taxpayer dollars has been spent on abstinence programs, almost $800 million of which has been spent since 2001. President Bush has proposed increasing the annual amount spent on abstinence education to $204 million in FY 2007.
In a statement obtained by LifeNews.com, the No More Money campaign claims "a significant body of evidence has accumulated showing that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are ineffective and potentially harmful."
Yet, an April 2004 study published in Adolescent and Family Health found that abstinence was the major cause of declining birth and pregnancy rates among teen girls. It attributes 53 percent of the decline in pregnancy rates for 15-17 year olds to decreased sexual activity — larger than the decline from contraception.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows a decrease in the number of teens who are sexually active from 1991 (54.1 percent of teens) to 2003 (46.7 percent of teens).
"[T]he American people reject them as well," the No More Money campaign also claimed about abstinence education efforts.
However, an August 2005 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found 76 percent of those polled favored teaching abstinence education in schools while just 20 percent opposed.
In 2001, a similar group of organizations asked for Congress and states to de-fund abstinence education programs and the No More Money campaign says the number of groups has doubled since then.
The anti-abstinence campaign plans to produce educational tools for state and local groups to use to persuade the public and lawmakers to oppose abstinence education funding.
Most of the organizations involved in the lobbying effort are pro-abortion organizations on the state and local levels and Planned Parenthood abortion businesses. Other groups include the Sierra Club, the Union for Reform Judaism, the United Church of Christ, and the YWCA.