Abstinence-Only Funding Removed from Appropriations Bill
On Friday, the House Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (Labor HHS) eliminated traditional sources of funding for abstinence-only programs by passing an appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2010. The measure does not include funding for abstinence-only programs, but does provide $114 million for "a new teenage pregnancy prevention initiative," reported the Associated Press. The bill now faces a vote in the House Appropriations Committee and in the full House of Representatives.
A 2004 study by the House Committee on Government Reform, conducted at the request of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-30-CA) found that over 80% of the curricula used in the largest federally funded abstinence-only programs contained "false, misleading, or distorted information about reproductive health."
The latest report on the behavioral risks of teen pregnancy (see PDF), just released by the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the Guttmacher Institute, reflects a rise in teen pregnancy rates in 2006 and 2007 and fewer teens using contraception. The American Medical Association also released a report in June that found abstinence-only sex programs do not result in reduced sexual activity among teens.
Media Resources: Associated Press 7/10/09; Feminist Majority Foundation 7/10/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/30/09