Future of Abstinence-Only Funding Is in Limbo
January 21, 2009
Opponents of abstinence-only sex education plan to urge the Obama administration to eliminate federal funding for the programs, which they consider ineffective. But program supporters will lobby Congress and President Obama to keep at least some of the $176 million-a-year funding for abstinence programs intact.
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), said she believes Congress will support funding for comprehensive sex education over abstinence programs. "We believe the amount of money that goes into [abstinence education] would be so much better used on things to prevent unwanted pregnancies," Slaughter said. "I think we'll have enough votes to deal with it."
Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association, said Congress should fund both types of programs. "Now is not the time to remove even one of the tools that can help teens," said Huber.
Slaughter, however, said she would oppose dual funding: "We can't have both, because abstinence-only doesn't work."
Sarah Brown, director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, said she does not oppose abstinence-only research, but she prefers "science-driven" comprehensive programs. "In a highly constrained fiscal environment, it's critical to focus precious dollars on programs that have evidence of good effects," said Brown. "When you look at the best science, the abstinence-only programs come up short."
01.18.2009; David Crary
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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