The Senate Appropriations Committee approved yesterday a $28 million cut for funding for community-based abstinence education (CBAE) programs. In 2007, $113 million was marked for sex education programs that promoted abstinence. In his budget for fiscal year 2008, President Bush asked to increase that amount to $141 million. The version of the bill moving through the Senate would keep CBAE funding at $113 million — the same amount as the past two years.
Earlier this month, the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations approved Bush’s increase, despite overwhelming evidence that abstinence-based sex education programs do not work. The full House Appropriations Committee has postponed its general mark-up of the bill until July 9.
SIECUS Vice President for Public Policy William Smith noted that, in addition to promoting failed and impractical abstinence-only education, the House’s version “fails to fully fund HIV prevention, fails to fully fund the Minority AIDS Initiative, and fails to fully fund Title X family planning.”