Pro-Life Groups Mark Abstinence Day on Capitol Hill in Funding Fight

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 23, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Groups Mark Abstinence Day on Capitol Hill in Funding Fight Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 23
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — Pro-life organizations marked Abstinence Day on Tuesday as they countered efforts by pro-abortion members of Congress who want to strip funding from the programs. Hundreds of students and supporters flooded congressional offices as part of the fight to reauthorize Title V funding.

Some of the participants attended a breakfast hosted by the Family Research Council with pro-life Reps. Randy Forbes, a Virginia Republican, and Mike McIntyre, a North Carolina Democrat.

Though Congressional bills have included $74 million for peanut storage, $24 million for sugar beets, and $13 million for sheep breeding, abortion advocates are balking at renewing the money spent promoting abstinence to teens.

Supporters of the programs said that the $50 million needed to reauthorize federal funding for was a small price to pay to help teens avoid unplanned pregnancies that result in abortions and sexually transmitted diseases.

Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, used the kind of rhetoric Republicans normally rely on to spare taxpayer expense for government programs.

"American[s]… have already paid more than $1 billion for [abstinence] programs [in the last 11 years]," he said.

But Tony Perkins, FRC’s president, wondered where Waxman’s concern was placed concerning the quarter of a billion dollars spent annually in Title X funds for pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood.

"If Congress can defend a $100 million earmark for citrus fruit, surely it can justify spending half that for children whose futures will be brighter and healthier because of these valuable programs," he said.

He urged pro-life advocates to call on Congress to fund abstinence education.