July 7, 2011
Abstinence Education Funding Request Gets Bipartisan Support
A bipartisan letter, signed by 40 congressional House members, was delivered to Appropriations Committee Chair, Harold Rogers (R-KY) and ranking member Norm Dicks (D-WA) asking that at least one half of all funds for sex education be used to create a separate funding stream dedicated to the risk avoidance approach taught in abstinence education.
“I am pleased that Members of Congress are motivated to change current federal sex education policy. This bipartisan support puts politics aside and acknowledges the need to reestablish a priority on the evidence-based abstinence education approach,” said Valerie Huber, Executive Director of the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA).
The letter details that all funding for abstinence education was eliminated by the Obama Administration and current funding for sex education gives no priority to the important risk avoidance message inherent in abstinence education.
“In the history of federal sex education funding, there has never been such a disparity in funding for abstinence education. Despite the fact that adolescents are contracting sexually transmitted diseases at an epidemic rate, there is no CDC or HHS community-based direct funding program that empowers teens to choose the sexual risk avoidance option found in abstinence education,” adds Huber.
The letter states that the requested emphasis on abstinence will not require any new funding but will simply provide for a more equitable distribution of existing funds for sex education.
Congressman Dan Boren (D-OK), cosponsor of the letter, noted "Abstinence education has been an important issue for me during my service in Congress. The risk-avoidance approach of abstinence education appropriately prepares youth to make informed decisions. For these reasons, I was pleased to join with Congressman Bill Flores and 38 other members of Congress in sending this bipartisan letter to the House Appropriations Committee. As the Committee prepares legislation for fiscal year 2012, I hope it will carefully take our views into consideration when appropriating funding for sex education programs."
July 7, 2011