NAEA Opposes Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010
Provision Disregards Increasing Health Risk to Youth
Washington, DC (December 10, 2009) — NAEA sent the following letter to Members of Congress today to voice its disapproval of the sex education provision which zeros out all funding for abstinence education. "If passed," says Valerie Huber, Executive Director of NAEA, "the Appropriations Act will prevent more than 1.5 million students from receiving the important risk avoidance skills found in their current abstinence education classes. The Act will also transfer jurisdiction of the new Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program to the HHS Office of the Secretary, a move that further politicizes an issue of health for youth."
December 10, 2009
Dear Member of Congress:
NAEA writes in strong opposition to the LaborH portion of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (H.R. 3288) pertaining to funding for a new Teenage Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program within the Office of the Secretary at HHS. NAEA will score the vote on this Act.
As currently drafted, H.R. 3288 fails to place a priority on primary prevention in the area of teen sexual activity. While other public health initiatives place heavy emphasis on risk avoidance, the TPP program departs from this accepted health strategy, thereby potentially compromising the health of America’s youth. Teens are best served when they are afforded the skills necessary to avoid sexual activity. In fact, published research documents that teens that are part of an abstinence program are about half as likely to become sexually active as their peers. Sexually experienced teens are also more likely to reduce their number of partners or choose to become abstinent when they are provided the skills and encouragement present in an abstinence program. Further, youth who are part of an abstinence program are no less likely than their peers to use condoms if they become sexually active.
Research shows that children who are born within a stable married relationship tend to fare better than those born to young and single parents – financially, scholastically and from a health perspective. They are also less likely to become teen parents themselves. Therefore, abstinence education also has generational benefits that directly impact the family and society, in general.
The passage of H.R. 3288 without an inclusion of funds designated specifically for the primary prevention abstinence education approach is unacceptable to parents who want the best health outcomes for their children. Further, NAEA does not support transferring authority for teen sex education away from ACF. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to vote “no” on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (H.R. 3288).
Congress votes to eliminate funding for abstinence education in Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (H.R. 3288)
The National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) is comprised of leading abstinence educators and supporters who represent 2 million youth across the U.S.
To arrange an interview with NAEA, contact Rachel Turner at 202-248-5420 or 404-285-1876 or email her at rturner@Abstinenceassociation.org