Subcommittee Votes to Continue Funding Disproven Abstinence-Only Programs

June 19, 2008 12:00 am

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Contact: (202) 675-2312, media@dcaclu.orgWashington, DC – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies today voted to continue funding the Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) program, an abstinence-only-until-marriage funding stream that supports programs that include inaccurate and misleading information.

The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“It’s hard to imagine a good reason why, in these tight economic times, Congress would intentionally flush taxpayer dollars down the drain by spending them on disproven, ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. We are floored that they continue to ignore study after study, and the consensus of the pubic health community, all concluding that these programs censor vital health care information, teach gender stereotypes, discriminate against lesbian and gay teens, and in some cases promote religion in the classroom in violation of the Constitution.

“We were disappointed to have to say this the first time; to repeat it again and again is simply outrageous. But we’ll continue to speak up until lawmakers listen: Congress should support reproductive health policies that are effective, save taxpayer dollars and protect the public health. That includes comprehensive sex education which stresses the importance of encouraging teens to wait to have sex and provides information about how to use contraception; studies show that these programs can effectively delay sex among teens and increase contraceptive use among sexually active teens.”

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