by Steven Ertelt
June 8, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — It wasn’t supposed to be this way. When abortion advocates were successful in handing control of Congress to the Democrats after the 2006 elections, their allies in Congress were supposed to use their newfound power to decrease federal funds for abstinence education. Instead, they increased it.
Thursday afternoon, members of a House Appropriations subcommittee voted to increase funding for the Community Based Abstinence Education program (CBAE) by $27.8 million, to $141 million.
CBAE funds groups that encourage students to engage in abstinence rather than promote the use of birth control.
According to Congressional Quarterly, Appropriations Chairman David Obey, a pro-abortion Wisconsin Democrat, said the abstinence vote was an olive branch to Republicans to help get their support for the various spending bills Congress approves annually to fund the federal government.
Other Democrats, such as pro-abortion Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., of Illinois, said they were willing to accept more money for abstinence education to be able to get GOP support for their other spending measures that is increasing the cost of the bills more than the president wants.
Valerie Huber of the National Abstinence Education Association applauded the vote and told the Washington Times. That abstinence education "is a public health message that deserves to be continued."
But groups that oppose teaching teenagers abstinence were up in arms.
"There is no other way to describe this concession but as shameful," William Smith of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, said.
"Let’s face it, with friends like these, who needs conservative Republicans?" James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, complained.
"The facts are supposed to matter when it came to public policy," added Wagoner. "But with this decision, the leaders in the new Congress have exposed themselves as public health frauds in favor of politics and appeasement."
Since 1982, Congress has allocated over $1.5 billion for abstinence-only programs and teen pregnancy rates are decreasing.
Though abstinence education funds were increase, the panel also voted to increase Title X family planning funding by $27.8 million, to $311 million which a good percentage of the money going to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business.