End Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Funding

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

This week, President Obama signed into law the omnibus appropriations bill that will fund government operations for the rest of fiscal year 2009. Buried in the spending measure and the media blizzard about earmarks is $99 million for the Community Based Abstinence Education program.

Sure, we're glad the program received a $14 million cut — the first ever — but it absolutely boggles the mind that this program still receives any funding at all. In fact, $162 million remains in the budget for abstinence-only-until-marriage funding. Did you catch that? $162 million. Enough already.

For more than a decade, Congress has spent more than a billion taxpayer dollars on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs despite busloads of evidence that they don't work and pleas from the scientific and public health community to stop, stop, stop!

We know that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs censor information that can help young people make responsible, healthy, and safe decisions about relationships and sexual activity. We know they reinforce gender stereotypes, marginalize LGBT youth, and provide inaccurate and misleading information. And yet, the money keeps flowing.

Enough already. Seriously. Enough. It's time to put scientific integrity and the real needs of teenagers ahead of narrow, ideological agendas.

So even though we took a good, albeit shamefully small, step in the right direction, we'll take a big leap forward if President Obama allocates zero dollars for abstinence-only programs in his 2010 fiscal year budget recommendation to Congress expected in April 2009. And the ACLU has asked him to do that. We've pointed out to President Obama that continuing to fund abstinence-only programs is inconsistent with statements he's made during the campaign and in the early weeks of his presidency.

Now President Obama needs to hear from you. We may lose tremendous momentum in the fight against abstinence-only programs if President Obama's 2010 fiscal year budget includes funds for these programs. Your voice will make a difference! Send President Obama an email today asking him to defund abstinence-only programs. Tell your family, friends, neighbors, teenagers to email too. We need to let President Obama know that it's enough already.

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Bruce Campbell

I just emailed my letter. Now to send links to everyone I know. This is really important.

Paen

I bet they would brung the abortion rate way down if they just spent a small
part of that 162 million on free condoms.

Quidpro

If, as the ACLU believes, providing comprehensive sex education to children will lead to fewer unwanted pregnancies, then would not comprehensive fire-arm education to children result in fewer accidental gun deaths? Just as the ACLU has lead the charge on sex education, so it should lead the charge on gun education.

Paen

That's a great idea Quidpro and we could also hand out live hand grenades to preschoolers.

Quidpro

Thank you for confirming directly the point I made ironicly, Paen.

busdriversteve

Abstinence works EVERY time it's tried! But we need to keep teen girls pregnant to keep the pro abortion folks in business. It's all about money, even on the left!

ICAH

The best idea proposed so far has been the REAL Act. Of course abstinence is the best, and only 100% way, to prevent unwanted pregnancy or STIs, but numbers show teens are going to be having sex, and so we need to give them the right information to be able to make intelligent, informed decisions. Read into it and other reproductive rights causes at our website, icah.org, or our blog (written by youth) at https://www.google.com/a/icah.org/ServiceLogin?

ICAH

*Our blog at http://youthactivistnetwork.blogspot.com/, sorry, wrong paste!

man of Truth

Sorry to bust your bubble, but I teach abstinence until marriage and unfortunately most of if not all of what you say in your narrative is a lie. "We know that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs censor information that can help young people make responsible, healthy, and safe decisions about relationships and sexual activity. We know they reinforce gender stereotypes, marginalize LGBT youth, and provide inaccurate and misleading information". Just to let you and others who believe like you know...We make awesome gains and we dont use the word God, Jesus or the Bible...we belive that teens are smart enough to recognize your lies and our truth. They can now make a choice. This I promise you, I will fight until the day I die to let youth, teens, and young adults know the truth of what YOU lie about. have a blessed day! ManofTruth

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