Woo hoo! As reported yesterday, Obama’s FY2010 budget slashes funding for failed abstinence-only education programs. $164 million will be allocated to Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs that are based on PROVEN SCIENCE!
But, before we get too giddy, let’s not forget that while the budget for these tried and true comprehensive sex ed programs has been approved, the appropriation of the $164 million still has to take place. As the Wall Street Journal points out, 25% of the $164 million will be directed to programs that present new and innovative approaches to teen pregnancy prevention. Unfortunately, this does not necessarily rule out abstinence-only programs!
Furthermore, SIECUS raises valid concerns that the focus on teen pregnancy prevention, with less focus on STI and HIV prevention is very alarming. With rising STI and HIV infection rates among young people in the U.S., a failure to explicitly arm teens with the tools and information to protect themselves is completely negligent and in fact, life threatening. Plus, the dominant focus on pregnancy prevention ignores the needs of LGBTQ people.
It is imperative that we let our members of Congress know that we will not stand for more failed abstinence-only programs in our schools. We need that FULL $164 million to go to truly comprehensive programs that are realistic, innovative, and take the realities of young peoples’ lives into account. Contact your Congressperson today to ensure that ab-only baloney is kicked to the curb once and for all!