Washington, D.C. – In sending his proposed 2014 budget to Congress this week, Barack Obama eliminated funding for abstinence education programs, reports state.
The National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) issued an alert over the matter on Wednesday, noting that Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) abstinence education funds were cut from the budget. It outlined that Obama advised the Department of Health and Human Services to redistribute a portion of the Title V funding, which allots $50 million to the states for abstinence education, to a new program that focuses on contraception usage.
“Using Title V funds for programs that are not compliant with the Congressional definition for abstinence education is a violation of congressional intent and therefore, outside the authority of this budgetary directive,” the organization asserted.
It lamented that Obama’s budget will cause greater harm to the already insufficient teaching of sexual abstinence, stating that it “will only increase the current 1:16 disparity between SRA abstinence education and so-called ‘comprehensive’ sex education.”
“The president’s move to eliminate Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) abstinence programs is completely out of touch with what his base wants, what parents want, and what is in the best interest of America’s youth,” stated NAEA president Valerie Huber. “It’s troubling that the president would want to prevent students from receiving the encouragement and skills to avoid sexual risk.”
According to data from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, sexual promiscuity is a significant problem among today’s youth.
“In 2011, 47% of all high school students reported having had sexual intercourse,” it outlines. “Many teens—both boys and girls—continue to express regret about when they first had sex.”
However, “[i]t should be noted that 44% of respondents age 12-19 said they have not had sex,” the campaign added.
The True Love Waits campaign, a Christian effort founded in 1994, states that youth who commit to remain virgins until marriage are more likely to keep their promises than those who are are not urged to pursue sexual purity.
“[Y]oung women who take a virginity pledge are at least 40 percent less likely to have a child out of wedlock and 12 times more likely to be virgins when they marry, compared to young women who do not make such a pledge,” it notes, referring to an abstinence study conducted by The Heritage Foundation. “These and other studies challenge the generally negative assessment of abstinence programs reached by some researchers.”
The campaign advises that since so many youth in America are sexually active, abstinence programs and purity pledges are desperately needed.
“Despite the progress made, much work remains to be done,” it states. “The United States still has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy and births in the industrialized world, resulting in severe economic and social costs, not to mention the personal pain early sexual activity places upon teenagers and their families.”
Consequently, the NAEA is asking Congress to ignore Obama’s recommendation to slash abstinence funding, and to rather “choose the common sense position of supporting SRA programs and the positive results they are achieving among youth.”