New York State Officials Will Refuse Abstinence Education Funding

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 21, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 21,

Albany, NY ( — New York state officials have decided to divert the millions in abstinence education funding the state receives from the federal government to comprehensive sex-ed programs. The decision has pro-life groups upset because the funding has been helping programs encourage teens to avoid getting pregnant.

Health Department spokeswoman Claudia Hutton says the state has received about $3.7 million in abstinence funding since 1998 and the state has allocated $2.6 million annually to go along with the federal dollars.

But Health Department Commissioner Richard Daines says that will no longer be the case starting on October 1.

In a statement he posted on the agency’s web site on Thursday, he said, "The Bush administration’s Abstinence-Only program is an example of a failed national health care policy directive."

He claims it is "based on ideology rather than on sound scientific-based evidence that must be the cornerstone of good public health care policy."

John Graham of Catholic Charities in Onondaga County, one of the groups that received state and federal funds to help teenagers choose abstinence, decried the decision.

"We’re very unhappy," he told the Associated Press. "Refusing the money from the federal government puts a lot of programs in jeopardy."

"We were having a pretty effective program with the families and children we were working with," he said. "And now, we’re not able to do that."