Groups Use Little-Known Law To Challenge Federally Funded Abstinence-Only Education Programs, Say Errors in Curricula
Two organizations that advocate for comprehensive sex education are relying on a little-known law to challenge what they call scientifically inaccurate information contained in the curricula of some federally funded abstinence-only education programs, urging the HHS Administration of Children and Families to correct the information, the AP/Dallas Morning News reports. The groups -- Advocates for Youth and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, which promote contraception education as a way of preventing pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases -- on Tuesday said they filed a petition under the Information Quality Act that allows "affected persons" to seek correction of information disseminated by federal agencies. According to the groups, most abstinence-only education grantees teach some information that is both "erroneous and ineffective." Federal officials did not immediately respond to the challenge. However, Wade Horn, who oversees ACF, told Congress earlier this year that it should continue funding the abstinence-only programs when it takes up welfare reform legislation, adding that such programs have helped people develop the "inner strength" to say "no" to sex. Advocates for Youth President James Wagoner said, "Never in recent history has so much government money been put into so many programs with so little oversight and so little proven impact," adding, "We'll use [the act] and any other tool at our disposal to ensure that youth receive honest and accurate sex education" (Freking, AP/Dallas Morning News, 9/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.