Select Page

[Labor, HHS, & Education Subcommittee, House Appropriations Committee] marked-up the Fiscal Year 2005 appropriations bill & voted to increase SPRANS [Special Projects of Regional & National Significance] community-based abstinence education grants by ~$35 million. This is not as much as President Bush has requested.  Funds will be moved from HRSA to the Administration for Children & Families (ACF). “Abstinence education is working,” commented Leslee Unruh, President of the Abstinence Clearinghouse.  “Increasing amounts of new, scientific research is showing that abstinence education creates teens who abstain.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that teen sexual activity and teen pregnancy have been declining steadily over the last several years.  Peer-reviewed, published studies show that abstinence education is responsible for these decreases.”
A look at the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) study, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, found that teens who abstain from sexual activity have healthier lives than those who are sexually active.  Sexually active teens are at greater risk for suicide, depression, pre-marital pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease (STDs), infertility, poverty, single parenthood, marital instability, divorces, and generally reporting less happiness than abstinent teens.  Another recent report found that contraceptive sex education programs, which promote teen sex, are funded by the government $12 to every $1 spent on abstinence education.
“We strongly encourage the full House and Senate to approve the President’s entire FY05 budget request of $273 million.  It is the only way we will see even fewer teens having sex, getting pregnant, and contracting STDs, and more teens growing up to enjoy healthy and successful relationships as adults,” said Unruh. Title X, the Family Planning grant program, which is receiving $278,283,000 in funding in FY04, will not be increased with the current mark-up.   The committee also added a provision that all Title XX funds can be used for abstinence education.  Currently, only a portion is earmarked for abstinence education. [8Jul04, C. Espenscheid, Abstinence Clearinghouse News Release, 605-335-3643]