by Steven Ertelt
May 21, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — With Congressional Democrats looking to strip out the funding of abstinence education programs from within the federal budget, two Republican candidates for president said they oppose the move. Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee say they strongly support abstinence education.
Abortion advocates on Capitol Hill don’t plan to reauthorize federal funding for the Title V abstinence education program, which expires at the end of June.
They claim the programs have not been effective and want to see more money spent on birth control and the morning after pill.
Huckabee and Brownback expressed their disagreement in interviews with CBN News.
"Abstinence education provides a valuable counterweight to peer pressure and the message young people get from the popular culture encouraging casual relationships and separating sex from love, commitment and marriage," Huckabee said.
"I am disappointed that funding for abstinence education is not likely to be renewed by the Democrat Congress," the former governor added. "This reversal only emphasizes how important it is for Republicans to take back Congress and win the White House with an authentic conservative in 2008."
Brownback told CBN that "Abstinence-only programs are great examples of curriculums that send positive messages to young people encouraging them to protect themselves and their future."
"Teens who abstain from sexual activity are less likely to have children out-of-wedlock; less likely to live in poverty and on welfare; and more likely to have stable marriages as adults," he explained.
Bronwback said he’s been working to keep Title V funding of abstinence programs and recently sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee asking Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Grassley "to make this reauthorization a reality."
Huckabee went further and said that he doesn’t believe "in teaching about sex or contraception in public schools. That is the responsibility of parents."
Brownback concurred and said abstinence education would "keep our youth out of harm’s way by protecting them from sexually transmitted diseases and other risky situations."
In his latest budget, President Bush has asked Congress to appropriate $191 million for the program for fiscal year 2008, an increase of $28 million from FY 2007 funding levels.
A new Zogby poll finds 83% of parents want their children to save sex until marriage and a majority of families believe that programs should reinforce the abstinence message when broaching sex ed in the classroom.
Once they understand what abstinence education actually teaches, 6 out of 10 parents would rather their child receive abstinence education vs. comprehensive sex education. Only 3 out of 10 prefer comprehensive, Zogby showed.