Monday, October 06, 2008

Wasting Your Tax Dollars: New Grants For Abstinence Education Announced

I imagine that you are as worried about the current economic crisis as I am -- the federal deficit, our IRAs and other retirement funds, the federal bailout of Wall Street, your mortgages, your ability to get loans to send your children to college, the price of gas and groceries, and so on.

It's a pretty scary time.

So, I thought you might want to see how some of your tax dollars are being spent. According to the National Abstinence Clearinghouse, here are the list of organizations that just received grants for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Note how many of them are crisis pregnancy centers, pro-life organizations, religious organizations, and organizations with fear-based curricula. I don't know the content of these particular programs, so maybe a few of them are doing important work on helping young teens delay, but I do know that they have to teach that sexual behavior only belongs in heterosexual marriage and that the don't teach contraception and STD prevention, no less acknowledge LGT teens. These amounts are huge -- bigger than the entire budget of my organization.

Remember that the federal evaluation has not found a single program yet that has been effective at helping young people abstain from sex until they are married. And think about sending your Congressperson a note that this program must be brought to a close. Teenagers lives and futures are at stake -- and frankly, the U.S. can't continue to spend OUR money this way.

Here's the list:

Crisis Pregnancy Center, Inc.Anchorage, AK$352,926
Care Net Pregnancy Center of the Tanana ValleyFairbanks, AK$541,444
Teens Empowerment Awareness with Resolutions, Inc.Phenix City, AL$486,
137Prim N Proper/Choosing to ExcelConway, AR$600,000
Tree of Life Preventive Health Maintenance, Inc.Fort Smith, AR$512,500Arizona
Mexico Border Health FoundationTucson, AZ$550,000
Crisis Pregnancy Centers of TucsonTucson, AZ$599,969
Riverside-San Bernardino County Indian Health, Inc.Banning, CA$512,500
Pacific Camps Family ResourceCamarillo, CA$599,539
Imperial Valley Regional Occupatioinal ProgramEl Centro, CA$495,837
Life NetworkColorado Springs, CO$402,700
Friends First, Inc.Littleton, CO$599,939
Young Men's Christian Association of Pueblo, COPueblo, CO$599,600
Best Friends FoundationWashington, DC$550,000
Heartland Rural Health Network, Inc.Avon Park, FL$497,830
Catholic Charities of Central Florida, Inc.Orlando, FL $600,000
Live the Life Ministries, Inc.Tallahassee, FL$599,870
A Women's Place MinistriesTampa, FL$600,000First
Care Family Resources, Inc.West Palm Beach, FL$600,000River Road, Inc.Albany, GA$484,180
Choosing the Best, Inc.Atlanta, GA$600,000
Quest for Change, Inc.Avondale Estates, GA$480,799
New Horizons Community Service BoardColumbus, GA$573,059
Wilkinson County Board of EducationIrwinton, GA$418,896
Willie M Simpson Evangelistic Ministries, Inc.Jonesboro, GA$431,509
Friends of Cobb County Commision on Children and YouthMarietta, GA$600,000
Family Advocacy ServicesCarbondale, IL$600,000
I. A.M. A.B.L.E. Center for Family Development, Inc.Chicago, IL$600,000
Joyous Years Youth EmpowermentChicago, IL$600,000
Saints Mary and Elizabeth MedicalChicago, IL$549,625
Abstinence and Marriage Education PartnershipWheeling, IL$512,500
Abstinence Education, Inc.Wichita, KS$600,000
New Hope CenterCrestview Hills, KY$599,988
Women for Life Inc. (d/b/a Assurance: Care for Women and Girls)Lexington, KY$550,000
Congregacion Leon de JudaBoston, MA$600,000
The Women's Clinic of Kansas CityIndependence, MO$512,500
Better Family Life, Inc.St. Louis, MO$599,800
Thrive St. Louis Pregnancy Resources CenterSt. Louis, MO$549,755
Family Resource Center of Raleigh, Inc.Raleigh, NC$512,500
Father Flanagan's Boys' BoulevardBoys Town, NE$550,000
City of NorfolkNorfolk, NE$469,860
Winnebago Tribe of NebraskaWinnebago, NE$395,460
IMPACT Community Development CorporationMontclair, NJ$600,000
Harvest of Hope Family Services Network, Inc.Somerset, NJ$550,000
Free Teens USA, Inc.Westwood, NJ$550,000
Socorro General HospitalSocorro, NM$550,000
Be'er Hagolah Institutes, Inc.Brooklyn, NY$290,398
Boys & Girls Club of the Northtowns of Western New YorkBuffalo, NY$512,500Elizabeth's
New Life Center, Inc.Dayton, OH$600,000St. Vincent Mercy Medical CenterToledo, OH$600,000
Linclon Intermediate Unit-12New Oxford, PA$550,000
Palmetto Family CouncilColumbia, SC$600,000
Rural America InitiativesRapid City, SD$512,500
Alpha CenterSioux Falls, SD$600,000
Women's Care Center of Rhea County, Inc.Dayton, TN$392,540
Boys to MenJohnson City, TN$498,140
Douglas-Cherokee Economic Authority, Inc.Morristown, TN$582,822
Austin LifeGuard Character and Sexuality EducationAustin, TX$582,900
Alternative Community Development ServicesDallas, TX$454,922
Texas CollegeTyler, TX$600,000
Charlottesville Pregnancy CenterCharlottesville, VA$548,843
Clarkston School District J250-185Clarkston, WA$464,162
Teen-Aid, Inc.Spokane, WA$599,762
AWARE, Inc.Vancouver, WA$499,849
AIDS Resource Center of WisconsinGreen Bay, WI$600,000
Center for Self Sufficiency, Inc.Milwaukee, WI$599,800
School District of WestfieldWestfield, WI$491,819


Anonymous said...

Will Rogers once said if you really want something to expand just make it illegal and watch it grow. Making abortion illegal will not solve the problem, there will be just as many abortions, if not more. They will be just be done underground. Right now at least there is some control, we can try to persuade these young women to keep their child or let it be adopted. If abortion becomes illegal it will not stop. You will just not have any control over it whatsoever, but it will definitely continue.

Also, the Republicans have not helped children and families with affordable health insurance. That is the same thing as murder in my opinion. I know families that have tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried and tried to get health insurance. The premiums for one family was going to be $2000.00 per month. That is the same thing as murder when families cannot afford health insurance to take care of their medical problems.

Privatizing Social Security is also a form of murder. Look at the stock market today, the elderly would lose their Social Security and have nothing to live on. That is a form of murder. All the money that has been spent on the senseless war in Iraq could have easily shored up Social Security and Medicare. Mr Cheney, it is time to get out of Iraq. Haliburton's days of huge profits should could to an abrupt halt.

I am voting for the christian, not muslin, the christian Barack Obama. He cares about the poor. Those who oppress the needy insult their maker. Those who give to the needy lend to the maker. It does not matter to me how someone became poor, we should still help them through government programs. The faith based intiatives are not working, they never have. I hear christians in my own church that say these people are poor from their own doings. It matters not to me how they became poor. And I thing Jesus would feel the same way. I think Jesus would look at some of these political so called christian radio shows and wonder why they are not trying to help the unsaved and needy instead of being so involved in politics. If you spent all the energy on doing good instead of what you are doing many people might be saved and never even think about abortions.

Anonymous said...

Actually Debra it costs more to treat unwanted sexually transmitted diseases and the complications of, depresssion from and other social ills associated with HIV.

Ive worked in public health for over 15yrs conducting various sorts of HIV prevention education, and other preventative education on various other chronic illesses to adults and youth.

The one thing I can say about teaching kids about using condoms is that they apparently dont do it given the rising numbers in rates of STDs and the incidence of HIV.

While I continue to hammer condom usage into kids heads and teach resposible sexual practices, I am beginning to change my position. Frankly, Im sick of giving teenagers positive HIV results. Many from their first sexual encounter.

As adults with children, do we really want our children having sex? The honest answer is "No". Why would you want your child straddling a stranger at 13 or 16yrs old? Can you imagine your son or daughter having sex with no condom because their partner said it was okay - after they told you they would always wear a condom? There are lots of kids that "change their tune" after they leave the house.

As parents, We feel like the only option we have is to teach them how to be responsible and protect themselves. Well abstinence is another way to teach responsibility and protection. Just different from yours.

Additionally, as much as Abstinence programs cost upfront is much more cost effective on the back end because these kids dont get unintended health problems -which by the way cost our government lots of money. You should also survey the costs of HIV prevention education programs in the US against the rates of STD and HIV. How much money was wasted? Billions.

The average cost to treat HIV/AIDS per year is $170K per person. How many people are living with HIV in the US -that we know about? Thats lots of money.

Sexual education is important but pails in comparison to abstinence anyway you slice it. We should be teaching our precious kids to honor their bodies and minds; not to bend to peer pressure that often comes as a result of poor partenting and strong social sexualized content in the media and entertainment. Why are we as parents punking out to our competitors - TV, music, etc. where everything is about sex or being sexy...

Often in my couseling sessions, I hear about kids have massive drug infested group sex with people they dont know. One school in my city participated in a Amer Red Cross blood donation drive of the kids that volunteered 57% were HIV positive and didnt know it. Back in early 2002, I went to an elementary school to do testing because several kids came up positive with Syphilis (Just a few of the battles from the frontline.

Can you imagine trying to explain to a school full of angry partents that there was a syphilis outbreak in the 6-8th grade classes.

Whats wrong with teaching our kids at the outset that they are valuable more valuable than giving themselves up over and over to anyone. Lets face it these kids are suffering from lots of things - even the happy kids living in nice houses going to good schools -and turn to sex for sport, comfort, and acceptance.

Im with the program of abstinence. When we teach our kids to abstain we teach them to value themselves and others. Face it our kids are more valuable that we give them credit. I think we should honor them by teaching them not to have sex when they are young (a relative term but you know what im saying). These are efforts towards building long term integrity and character.

And Debra its saves more money and lives! Isnt that the point.

Regards & Blessings,