Barack Obama’s Federal Budget Eliminates Funding for Abstinence-Only Education

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 8, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Barack Obama’s Federal Budget Eliminates Funding for Abstinence-Only Education

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 8
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Before he took over the White House, President Barack Obama made it clear he would cut abstinence funding. He has followed through as his new budget eliminates all federal funding for abstinence-only education and replaces it with sexual education.

The budget eliminates funding for CBAE (Community Based Abstinence Education) and Title V Abstinence Education Program.

In Obama’s FY 2010 Proposed Budget, the president calls for at least $164 million in funding for contraceptive-only education. The money includes competitive grants, research, evaluation and authorization for $50 million in new mandatory condom grants to states, tribes and territories.

Leslee Unruh, president of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, told that Obama’s decision "is a Hollywood-failed old approach that only increases teen pregnancy and damages America’s greatest resource, our children."

"I believe there will be a political backlash for those who oppose these life saving abstinence programs. The enemies of sexual integrity programs will feel the heat from the army of youth who have seen the light through these programs as they approach voting age," she added.

Unruh says abstinence education supporters will continue fighting for funding and will gather in strategic meetings that will take place in June.

"We have clear goals and sound strategies," Unruh says. "Defeat? We don’t know the meaning of the word."

Meanwhile, the National Abstinence Education Association said Obama’s anti-abstinence budget “disregards the growing body of evidence supporting the effectiveness of abstinence education,” including research showing “a 50% decrease in sexual onset among teens that are enrolled in abstinence programs.”
“At a time when teens are subjected to an increasingly sexualized culture, it is essential that common-sense legislators from both sides of the aisle reject this extreme attempt to de-fund the only approach that removes all risk,” said NAEA Executive Director Valerie Huber.

On the other hand, Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat who backs abortion, told Congressional Quarterly she is pleased with Obama’s decision to eliminate abstinence funding.

“Finally we have a president who gets it,” she said.

The abstinence funding included $110 million per year in discretionary spending and $50 million per year in mandatory spending often referred to as Title V funding.

This is the second time Obama has called for less abstinence funding. In the omnibus spending bill Obama signed earlier this year, abstinence programs received $95 million, a substantial reduction from the $151 million they previously received.

Related web sites:
Abstinence Clearinghouse –

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