Not a Subscriber? Register Now
Health Law Gives Abstinence-only Programs New LifeMarch 26, 2010 by Erika Fitzpatrick
The health care reform law that President Barack Obama signed into law March 23 to help Americans get access to health insurance also took abstinence-only education off life support.
Those who favor a more comprehensive approach to sex education also won a $75 million allocation for evidence-based sex education in the measure (in addition to $110 million for teen pregnancy prevention provided in fiscal 2010), but the clear victory went to those who support counseling youths to abstain from sex until marriage. The new law provides $250 million for these types of programs over the next five years.
The Obama administration had let the so-called Title V program expire and comprehensive sex education supporters thought it would disappear forever. Senate lawmakers, however, amended their health care bill to restore the $50 million-a-year state fund for abstinence education. Because the House had to approve the Senate version of health care and did not opt to strip out the funds in a bill to fix that measure, the abstinence account remained and is slated for life through 2014.
Advocates for Youth, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization that vehemently opposes these programs, said in a statement that lawmakers should have acted on “any number of opportunities” to remove the abstinence-only funding from the bill, which it said wastes taxpayers’ money on programs that research shows do not work.
Those on the other side of the debate – whose case was recently bolstered by a federally funded study showing that abstinence can be effective in delaying sexual activity – had the opposite reaction. “We are encouraged that funding will continue so that the important sexual health message of risk avoidance will reach American teens,” Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association, said in a statement.
Huber added that the health care law provides “considerably more” for comprehensive sex education, funding that Advocates for Youth cheered. Indeed, the late revival of the nearly dead abstinence-only program ensures that these funding and policy tussles over sex education will continue for years to come.
You must Login before leaving a comment.
Latest News Articles
Gary Gately | 12/05/13Report Urges Ban on Detaining Status Offenders... Read More
Susan Ferriss | 11/27/13Nation's Largest School Police Force, in L.A., Wil... Read More
James Swift | 11/25/13How Can Youth Service Providers Keep Sex Offenders... Read More
James Swift | 11/25/13Long-Awaited Report Reveals New Information on San... Read More
Youth Today Staff | 11/22/13Hispanics Doubly Hampered by Obamacare Rollout... Read More
| 11/21/13Are the Hurdles Too High? To be Young, Male and Ho... Read More
Gary Gately | 11/13/13Parity Law Means More Treatment for Youths’ Mental... Read More
Lisa Pilnik | 11/12/13Listen to Me: Youth Share What They Want From Afte... Read More
Latest Tweets From Youth Today
Holidays in the Juvenile Justice System
Written by Judge George W. Timberlake, Ret. | 12/04/2013
My wife, Mary Jo, and I were snowbound in Michigan while working on a building project so we lost Thanksgiving with our families in southern Illinois. Missing a holiday with the dozens of brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles got me to wondering – what is the holiday experience for a kid in detention?
I remember ordering some kids to serve detention during holidays as a “tough love” approach to behavioral change and, later, performing population reviews to release as many kids as possible. Because I wanted to know the current experience of judges, detention centers and the kids...
Report Urges Ban on Detaining Status Offenders
Gary Gately | 12/05/2013 | Full Article
Nation's Largest School Police Force, in L.A., Will Stop Ticketing Kids 12 and Younger
Susan Ferriss | 11/27/2013 | Full Article
How Can Youth Service Providers Keep Sex Offenders Out?
James Swift | 11/25/2013 | Full Article