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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Congress Extends Funding for Abstinence Education

Recently House members voted 291-126 to extend the Title V Community-Based Abstinence Education funding through September 30 after the program lapsed June 30 when the House failed to act on the measure, which is tied to the Transitional Medical Assistance Medicaid program, that helps poor families, and enjoys bipartisan support. In addition to extending the program, the legislation increased the funding, in spite of the recommendation from a Senate appropriations committee to cut the funding.

I cannot tell you how disappointed I am with House members who apparently do not read research or talk to parents or teens, all of which would tell them that abstinence-only education does not work to prevent pregnancy, disease, or sexual activity.

Elsewhere in the country, there is hope in people like MA Gov. Deval Patrick who has refused to take abstinence-only federal money that would not allow MA to provide full and comprehensive sexuality education.

Parents, call your representatives, and school districts - understand the policy about sexuality education and let your voice be heard! It is completely ridiculous that Valerie Huber of the National Abstinence Education Association can say that abstinence education enjoys two-to-one support among parents.

Photo Credit: dbking
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.