HHS Dept Releases Funding for Abstinence Education Despite Obama Plan

The Department Health and Human Services has released the federal funding for abstinence education that groups fought for in Congress after President Barack Obama made a request to eliminate it. The funding is one of the few silver linings of the pro-abortion health care bill Obama signed. Here are the details from LifeNews.com:

In May, Obama announced he would zero out all funding for abstinence education and replace it with $178 million to “prevent teen pregnancy.”

The National Abstinence Education Association and others fought the request and members of Congress eventually voted to restore some of the funding. “The bipartisan vote among members of Congress that provided for the continuation of this funding, demonstrates an understanding of the common sense approach that Abstinence Education provides and that a majority of Americans support,” said Valerie Huber, the director of the group.

Members of Congress originally began funding abstinence education during the 1990s and Title V abstinence funding was recently extended under the health care bill.

This funding is provided to states yearly until 2014 and the program will be implemented through the Administration for Children and Families, which is currently accepting applications from U.S. states and territories for funding requests.

“We hope to see many effective abstinence programs funded under the Title V grant program,” Huber told LifeNews.com.

“To combat the complex problem of teen sexual activity, we need an ‘all hands on deck’ attitude that does not censor any approach; indeed there is enough problem to go around and our young people deserve every effort to promote their health and well- being,” she said.

According to the funding announcement from HHS,“The purpose of this program is to support decisions to abstain from sexual activity until marriage by providing abstinence education as defined by Section 510(b)(2) of the Social Security Act with a focus on those groups that are most likely to bear children out-of-wedlock.”

In February, a new study involving black middle-school students that appeared in the February 2010 Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, a publication of the American Medical Association, found abstinence education effective in reducing sexual activity among youth while comprehensive sexual education flops.

Students participating in an eight-hour abstinence program showed a one-third decrease in their rates of sexual activity compared to non-participants.

It found the students in the abstinence program showed lower levels of sexual activity even two years later.

Meanwhile, a February Rasmussen poll found a majority of Americans believe abstinence education programs are effective and a commanding majority would rather have parents than schools teaching sex education.

The poll revealed 50 percent of American adults believe abstinence-only education programs are at least somewhat effective in preventing teen pregnancy. Some 15 percent say they are very effective.

Just 42% of Americans disagree and a smaller 13 percent take the strongest position saying they are not at all effective.

Overall, 68% of adults nationwide approve of health education classes teaching children about sex or abstinence while only 21 percent of Americans disapprove of teaching kids abstinence and 11 percent remain undecided.

“Adults with children are slightly less supportive than those without children of sex education classes in school. Most adults with children at home see abstinence education as effective, while those without children are evenly divided on the issue,” the polling firm pointed out.

Fifty-one percent of men see abstinence-only programs as being effective in preventing pregnancy in teens, compared to 48% of women — making them about evenly divided.

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