Health Law Includes $250 Million For Abstinence Education
The new health care law contains "a renewal of $50 million per year for five years for abstinence-focused education," CNN reports. "Programs that receive this funding must 'teach that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems,' according to the Department of Health and Human Services. To qualify, they must also teach that sex before marriage is "likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects'..."
But "[o]rganizations promoting evidence-based sex education say it's troubling that this $250 million will go to state programs that have not been shown to work. A congressionally mandated study in 2007 found that none of four abstinence programs showed a significant positive effect on sexual behavior among youth. A January 2009 study in Pediatrics found that religious teens who take virginity pledges are less likely to use condoms or birth control when they become sexually active" (Landau, 3/31).