Abstinence Education Advocates Lobby Congress, Obama Considers Funding Cuts
by Steven Ertelt
March 11, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Backers of abstinence education are lobbying Congress today as President Barack Obama considers more cuts in funding the programs. The National Abstinence Education Association is meeting with members of Congress and their staff to convince them the programs are helpful.
The group is also bringing nearly 500 teenagers to Capitol Hill to help with the efforts and the response has pleasantly surprised organizers.
We knew that this message resonated with teens, but this response has been overwhelming and indicates the strong support abstinence education has among American youth, schools and parents," Valerie Huber, director of the NAEA, said.
The event comes as pro-abortion members of Congress are pressuring Obama to cut funds for abstinence education.
Obama is finalizing the details of his 2010 fiscal year budget and abortion backers expect the president to reduce, but not eliminate, the funding to help teenagers make good choices.
Huber’s group led off the battle over abstinence funding by writing to Obama not long after he was elected president.
In a letter signed by representatives of hundreds of abstinence groups, students, and parents, Huber said "partisan rhetoric that has mischaracterized abstinence education for too long."
She set the record straight by saying that students "tell us that until abstinence education programs (as currently funded by Congress) came to their school, no one gave them the tools they needed to abstain from sex."
"Many tell us that even though they had sex in the past, now they are going to wait because of newfound confidence in themselves as a result of abstinence programs," Huber added.
A growing body of research provides compelling evidence that youth who receive abstinence education are significantly less likely to initiate sexual activity as their peers. Sexually experienced students are more likely to discontinue their sexual activity as a result of the skills and encouragement received in abstinence education classes.
"We cannot turn our backs on this promising evidence just as our youth are responding to the positive message of abstinence as never before," Huber says.
While pro-abortion and pro-abstinence groups will battle over future budgets, the economic stimulus bill Obama is expected to sign cuts abstinence funding now.
The new omnibus spending bill 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.
Related web sites:
National Abstinence Education Association – https://www.abstinenceassociation.org
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