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The financial balance sheet between abstinence and safe-sex programs within the US shows that the government spends “$12 to promote contraception for every dollar spent to encourage abstinence.”  [Culture & Cosmos: Volume 1, Number 24, 20Jan04;  21Jan04, Abstinence Clearinghouse] In his State of the Union message, President Bush wants a doubling of abstinence funding to $270 million/year. During the 2004 State of the Union Address, Pres Bush declared a funding increase from $135 million annually to $270 million annually to be spent on abstinence education: “Each year, about three million teenagers contract STDs that can harm them, or kill them, or prevent them from ever becoming parents,” stated President Bush.  “In my budget, I propose a grassroots campaign to help inform families about these medical risks. We will double Federal funding for abstinence programs, so schools can teach this fact of life: Abstinence for young people is the only certain way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases. Decisions children make now can affect their health and character for the rest of their lives. All of us – parents, schools, government – must work together to counter the negative influence of the culture, and to send the right messages to our children.” The initiatives would be financed in part by shifting some funds from within the federal welfare budget. “I am encouraged by the president’s message and thank him for his support,” said Leslee Unruh, pres of the Abstinence Clearinghouse.  “…this funding is welcome.” Representative Lee Terry (R-NE) and 29 House colleagues, sent a letter to President Bush supporting his plan to increase abstinence-until-marriage education funds. “This is an issue that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. People can be uncomfortable discussing sex-education and STDs, but ignoring it and hoping it goes away isn’t going to help,” Terry said. “We must focus on teaching our kids that the only way to completely avoid STDs is through abstinence.”   [Abstinence Clearinghouse, 20Jan03 & 4Feb04; Rep. Lee Terry Press Release, 2/1/04 ]