Abstinence Education Funding Remains in FY13 Spending Bill
Washington, DC (July 18, 2012) Today, the Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee approved their FY13 spending bill. The provisions for abstinence education within the draft bill were unchanged during today's session. The bill increases funding for abstinence education from $5 million in FY 2012 to $20 million in FY 2013, while cutting funding for the President's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program from $100 million in FY 2012 to $20 million in FY 2013.
"The legislation passed today provides parity between the Sexual Risk Avoidance abstinence approach and the Sexual Risk Reduction contraceptive approach. This is an equitable model that once again acknowledges the need and effectiveness of the abstinence approach and it deserves passage by Congress," stated Valerie Huber, Executive Director of the National Abstinence Education Association.
The bill also permits unused funds within the Title V state abstinence education block grant to be distributed to states that wish to provide abstinence education to additional students. NAEA has long supported the passage of such a provision as it assures a more efficient use of mandatory abstinence education funds. Instead of unused funds languishing as an untapped appropriation, funds can now be used by states who choose to provide abstinence education. Currently 36 states implement the abstinence education block grant, but this number has increased annually in recent years.
Full House Appropriations committee consideration has yet to be announced, but may take place as early as next week. The Senate version of the LHHS FY 2013 spending bill was passed earlier and provides no funding for abstinence education but funds the President's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program at $104.5 million, showing a sharp divide between the House and Senate bills.
"NAEA applauds the leadership of Chairman Rehberg (Labor, HHS Subcommittee) and Chairman Rogers (Appropriations Committee) and urges the inclusion of a strong emphasis on Sexual Risk Avoidance abstinence education in the final Congressional spending bill that is sent to the President. Our youth deserve no less," concludes Huber.
Read the House and Senate FY 2013 LHHS Bills here:
Senate LHHS bill: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112s3295pcs/pdf/BILLS-112s3295pcs.pdf
House LHHS bill: http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-112hr-sc-ap-fy13-laborhhsed.pdf
NAEA is a professional association representing organizations and individuals who support a priority on risk avoidance through abstinence education. NAEA members serve students across the nation. For more information, visit the NAEA website: www.theNAEA.org and www.abstinenceworks.org.