House Subcommittee Further Strips Funding for Abstinence Education Efforts
by Steven Ertelt
July 13, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A House subcommittee last week further stripped the ability of community abstinence education programs to obtain federal funds for their work. Led by pro-abortion Rep. David Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat, a House appropriations subcommittee stripped even more funding from the federal budget.
The House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor HHS passed the Fiscal Year 2010 appropriations bill but not before it further targeted abstinence education.
Although both sides of the abstinence debate say the language in the bill needs more analysis, the first glance makes it appear that abstinence education funding will be eliminated or severely curtailed.
Obey included $114.5 million for a new teenage pregnancy prevention initiative that Obama is calling for, but the funds are expected to go to groups like Planned Parenthood that perform and promote abortions.
The budget language will likely place requirements on the funding that only groups that do not take an abstinence-only approach can qualify for funding.
Little if any of the funds are expected to go to groups like the National Abstinence Clearinghouse.
"Proponents of contraceptive-only sex education have long awaited the day when they are given free reign over the sexualization of our children," its president Leslee Unruh told LifeNews.com.
The National Abstinence Education Association also decried the move.
NAEA will continue to work in a bipartisan fashion to assure that the final bill sent to the President includes funding for these important programs, promised Valerie Huber, its executive director. "It is important that politics not be permitted to trump the health of America’s youth."
Abortion advocates have targeted the elimination of abstinence funding for years even though studies have shown such programs effecting in helping teenagers.
Unruh says the preponderance of evidence supports abstinence-only education.
"There is a small minority of very well federally funded groups who try to give the perception that contraceptive-only sex education programs are effective at protecting teens from the problems related to sexual activity," she explained. "Studies of contraceptive-only sex education reveal that there is no evidence that condom programs are effective at decreasing teen pregnancy or STDs."
"It was also found that abstinence programs have produced broad-based and sustained increases in the percentage of youth who remain sexually abstinent, Unruh added.
"There is evidence that abstinence education is an effective primary prevention strategy. The research does not support abandoning abstinence education in favor of a contraceptive-only sex education strategy that has not been proven to be successful," she continued.
NAEA said that supporting the bill as written, without abstinence education funding, "seriously jeopardizes the ability of community-based programs to offer the skills youth need to resist sexual pressure and to avoid the potentially serious consequences of sexual activity."
"This move ignores the overwhelming support for abstinence education among parents of all ideological and demographic constituencies. The committees action disregards the 2.5 million young people who depend upon these services to empower them to make healthy choices regarding their sexuality," Huber added.
Related web sites:
National Abstinence Education Association – https://www.AbstinenceWorks.org
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