What happens now?
Each year, the federal government spends $176 million on failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Thankfully, 2009 marks the final year of spending approved during the Bush Administration - but now what?
President Obama and Congress are already hard at work on the federal budget for 2010 and - if President Obama's campaign promise is to be believed - the era of abstinence-only education may be coming to an end... And not a moment too soon!
Study after study has shown that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are not only ineffective in stopping teens from having sex, they deliberately distort or withhold life-saving information about condoms and contraception. After 10 years and over $1.5 billion in taxpayer money, it's time to end funding for programs we know don't work!
With millions of dollars in funding at stake, abstinence-only lobbyists have organized hundreds of Congressional meetings today - March 11, 2009 - to beg politicians to continue funding these failed programs. Change isn't easy - and the huge network of abstinence-only organizations that thrived for the past 10 years isn't taking it lying down.
Research indicates that teenagers who receive information about both abstinence and contraception, including condoms, are more likely to delay sexual activity, have fewer partners and use protection when they do become sexually active.
Together, we can make abstinence-only-until-marriage programs a thing of the past. After all, the best abstinence education is still comprehensive sex ed.
Director, Public Policy
Advocates for Youth