End Funding for The Failed Title V Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Program and Support Comprehensive Sex Education

Published: September 1, 2010

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA-9) introduced the Repealing Ineffective and Incomplete Abstinence-Only Program Funding Act, which would strike Title V, Section 510 of the Social Security Act from statute, thereby ending the Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage programs once and for all. It would transfer funding to the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) state-grant program.
 
·         PREP-funded programs are required to provide information on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS, with a substantial emphasis on both abstinence and contraceptive use. Programs must also address adulthood preparation topics such as healthy relationships, adolescent development, financial literacy, educational and career success, and healthy life skills.
 
·         Since 1996, the United States has wasted more than $1.5 billion in federal funding on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that fail to teach teens how to delay sexual initiation or prevent pregnancy or STDs, including HIV/AIDS. There is clear evidence that federally funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are not effective in stopping or even delaying adolescent sex.
 
·         No study in a professional peer-reviewed journal has found abstinence-only-until-marriage programs to be broadly effective. Scientific evidence simply does not support an abstinence-only-until-marriage approach. In sharp contrast to abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, there is strong evidence that more comprehensive approaches help young people both to withstand the pressures to have sex too soon and to have healthy, responsible, and mutually protective relationships when they do become sexually active.

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