Congressional Budget Bill Cuts Abstinence Funding, Increases Family Planning
by Steven Ertelt
February 25, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The new omnibus spending bill Congressional Democrats proposed this week does exactly what pro-life advocates expected it would do when it comes to abstinence education. Funds for abstinence programs were cut while more money is given to Planned Parenthood through family planning dollars.
The Democratic spending plan cuts total funding for abstinence education by $14.2 million, compared with the previous year.
It also cuts abstinence education funding by $42 million compared to what President Bush had asked for in his last months of office.
The cuts are seen as the first step by abortion advocates in Congress to zero out all abstinence education funds through the Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) program, the Adolescent Family Life Act, and through Title V.
Democrats cut the CBAE budget by 13%, leaving only $95 million to fund national programs to help teenagers make healthy choices for a positive lifestyle.
Anti-abstinence activist applauded the cut and said they expected pro-abortion President Barack Obama to zero out all abstinence funding.
"Any cut is a good first step," said Jen Heitel Yakush, Assistant Director of Policy at SIECUS. "We are still expecting Obama to take a lead on this issue. We are looking for his first budget to zero out funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage."
Obama’s first budget will cover fiscal year 2010.
The spending bill requires that any competitive grants awarded to abstinence education programs "shall be scientifically accurate" and that "none of the funds made available in this Act may be used to disseminate scientific information that is deliberately false or misleading."
While there is nothing unscientific about encouraging teenagers to wait until they are married to have sex in order to avoid teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, abortion advocate claim the programs are rife with misinformation.
Only by those claims can they justify yanking more public funding for the programs and the language of the spending bill could cut abstinence education grants even further if politicized decisions are made about them.
On the other side, general family-planning aid has been increased by $7.5 million — meaning more money in the pockets of the nation’s largest abortion business.
The Omnibus Appropriations Act, H.R. 1105, has Title X domestic family planning increasing to a total of $307,491,000, a 2.5% increase over $299 million in fiscal year 2008.
International Family Planning receives an increase of $88 million for a total of $545 million, a 19% percent increase over $457 million from last year.
The bill also includes a provision that will expand nominal drug pricing for university and community clinics. This provision will allow Planned Parenthood and university clinics to buy contraceptives at a reduced price, sell them at a cost two to three times or more higher, and pocket the difference.
On the plus side for pro-life advocates, the Democrats’ new $410 billion government spending bill doesn’t restore the Medicaid family-planning aid provision that was axed from the stimulus bill. It has been attacked as a Planned Parenthood bailout that could also force states to send money to the abortion business.
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