Monday, November 05, 2007

Just Say No to Increases in Abstinence Funds

Unbelievably, it looks like the Democratically-controlled US Congress is going to agree to the Bush Administrations request for MORE monies for abstinence-only-until-marriage education. The new total in the reconciled appropriations bill is $141 million, $28 million more than it was this year.

Here's some news from our friends at SIECUS:

Last year, CBAE grantees received $113 million in federal funding. While the Senate version of the appropriations bill this year reduced funding to $85 million, the House version increased it by an equal amount to $141 million. The version of the bill that came out of the conference committee more closely resembled the House version by increasing CBAE funding to the President’s requested level of $141 million. This money can only be spent on programs that teach abstinence-only-until-marriage and are subject to heavy restrictions. For example, any program that receives CBAE funds has to teach that "sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects." ...

CBAE is one of three federal funding streams for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Combined, these revenue sources have given more than $1 billion in federal funds to abstinence-only-until-marriage programs since their inception. The last two Republican-led sessions of Congress did not increase funding for these initiatives. The $28 million increase proposed under the current bill would be the second largest increase for these programs in history.

How is this possible? Weren't we promised something better? Is it too much to hope that the Congress will stop supporting a program that is known to be ineffective, that denies young people full and accurate information, and that ignores the fact that almost all Americans have their first sex outside of marriage?

It's time to honor a commitment to truth telling. It's time for Congress to learn to "just say no."


Anonymous said...

As much as I'd hate to say it... right now we've got bigger fish to fry.

While democrats may control congress, in no way do they dominate it. The split is still pretty close to 50/50. Right now, in order to concentrate on more pressing issues - such as the war in Iraq - we are going to have to make concessions regarding other issues.

Do I think this is a waste of tax-payer money? Hell yes. Ineffective and pigheaded. After the democrats win the White House, we should have enough leverage to properly resolve this issue.


Anonymous said...

Loved your Huffington blog. Right on girl! they could have cured Parkinsons and cancer with that money. Once again, shame on the

Al said...

RE: john's comment

no, no, no! NO time is the right time to fund an ineffective, scientifically inaccurate program that is harmful to youth! we wouldn't pull funding to medicaid because we've got bigger fish to fry, would we?

pulling a [seemingly] minor program just because it's wartime is dangerous territory to be in...

Anonymous said...

check this out Debra! Apparently they werent using condoms.