The Trump administration rolled out its new sex education priorities this week with an emphasis on abstinence and other sexual risk avoidance strategies.
The Title X grant application, released Friday, prioritizes the types of programs that the abortion chain Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups do not offer. Planned Parenthood has been criticized repeatedly for promoting risky sexual behavior to students and young adults.
Politico reports the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will offer $260 million in Title X grants to qualified health care providers.
Here’s more from the report:
The announcement stressed the inclusion of natural family planning methods — also known as fertility awareness — among the broad range of services offered by grantees. Applicants also have to ensure their activities promote “positive family relationships for the purpose of increasing family participation in family planning and health decision-making” and emphasize the social science research on “healthy relationships, to committed, safe, stable, healthy marriages and the benefits of avoiding sexual risk or returning to a sexually risk-free status, especially (but not only) when communicating with adolescents.”
For the first time, grantees will also have to ensure staff is annually trained to respond to threats such as child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence and human trafficking. Similar monitoring and reporting programs will be required.
Pro-abortion groups criticized the new goals, claiming the government wants to take away birth control and push religious beliefs on people through abstinence-based programs.
“The Trump-Pence administration is quietly taking aim at access to birth control under the nation’s program for affordable reproductive health care, which 4 million people rely on each year,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood. “The last thing anyone wants is for Donald Trump or Mike Pence to weigh in on her sex life — but this announcement essentially invites them into the bedroom.”
Clare Coleman, president and CEO of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, criticized the government for not promoting artificial contraception in the application.
The grant application emphasizes “a broad range of family planning methods,” including natural family planning. In contrast, the application under the Obama administration emphasized “all forms of contraception,” according to Politico.
Grantees may not provide abortions with the funds.
Valerie Huber, acting deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Population Affairs at HHS, said they want to fund programs that effectively teach sexual risk avoidance.
“This is a program that’s important to the administration and we think its really important to make some meaningful changes to extend the coverage of the program,” Huber said.
A pro-abortion blog that reported on the announcement attacked Huber, a Trump appointee, because she previously worked at an organization that emphasizes abstinence in sex education.
There is little evidence that Planned Parenthood’s programs have reduced sexual health risks and teen pregnancies.
In 2017, the Trump administration cut millions of dollars in grants to Planned Parenthood through the failed Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. HHS spokesman Mark Vafiades told the New York Times last year that there is very little evidence that the program was successful.
Parents and community members also have raised concerns about the content of the abortion chain’s programs. A Washington state mother recently was kicked out of her child’s sex education class after she complained about the poor quality of the Planned Parenthood-based program, according to the College Fix.
Earlier this month, CBS also highlighted a group of North Carolina parents’ concerns. They said Planned Parenthood’s “Get Real” curriculum “encourages sixth graders to feel ‘comfortable and ready’ for sex. The petition says the curriculum provides flash cards outlining proper condom usage, for ‘vaginal, oral or anal sex’ and recommends the usage of ‘non-microwavable saran wrap’ as a prophylactic for certain non-reproductive sex acts.”
In 2014, Live Action release an undercover video series showing Planned Parenthood employees encouraging young teens to participate in sado-masochistic sexual activities, including gagging, whipping, asphyxiation, shopping at sex stores and viewing pornography.
The abortion giant also publishes multiple “resources” for children and teenagers concerning sexual activity. These materials claim to provide “age appropriate” sex education to children starting at age 4.