States Questioning Abstinence Only Education

By Christine Cupaiuolo — October 23, 2006

“Reproductive rights activists say they are seeing new resistance by states to sex education programs that only teach abstinence until marriage, a hallmark stance of the Bush Administration,” writes Rebecca Vesely in Women’s eNews.

According to Martha Kempner, vice president of information and communications at the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, 13 states so far have determined that their abstinence only programs are ineffective; three states are declining abstinence only funding. “I think there is a pushback by the states on accuracy,” said Kempner.

Vesely reports that the Bush administration has allotted nearly $800 million between 2001 and 2006 for abstinence only education and now wants to double funding and develop an education model to “ensure that the federal government is sending a consistent health message to teens.”

The administration might also want to check on the accuracy of that message. “On Oct. 18,” writes Vesely, “the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office warned the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that it is violating federal law by failing to require that federally funded educational programs include medically accurate information about condom effectiveness.”


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