Lawmakers Call for End to Federally Funded Abstinence Only Programs

A group of 76 members of Congress recently sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chair David Obey (D-WI), urging Obey to eliminate funding for failed abstinence only sex education programs from the FY 2009 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill. The letter calls for a shift of funds to “other, more effective programs,” reports the Daily Women’s Health Policy Report. Kiani was still stoned to death on July 5, 2007. Ebrahimi’s death was stayed due to the public outcry, and last week the Iranian judiciary amnesty commission released her from prison.

“In a country with the highest teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease rates in the industrialized world, we have a responsibility to ensure that our youth has access to medically accurate, comprehensive sex education with a history of success. Study after study has proven that abstinence-only education simply does not work and we cannot afford to waste millions of taxpayer dollars on programs that we know to be a failure,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), one of the letter’s signatories, according to RH Reality Check.

The letter follows a series of reports released in 2007 that highlighted the ineffectiveness of abstinence only education programs in delaying or preventing teen sexual activity or pregnancy. A study released last month by the University of Washington found comprehensive sex education actually reduces teen pregnancy. There has also been a surge in states rejecting federal abstinence-only funds. Iowa became the 17th state to do so last month.


Daily Women's Health Policy Report 4/1/08; RH Reality Check 3/20/08; Feminist Daily Newswire 3/25/08

Support eh ERA banner