Governor Quinn in the Minority in Rejecting Title V Abstinence Education Funds
Governor Quinn in the Minority in Rejecting Title V Abstinence Education Funds
Written By Laurie Higgins   |   09.28.10
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently thanked Governor Patrick Quinn (D) for rejecting Title V federal funds for abstinence education and praised him for turning instead to the new federal program for funding comprehensive sex ed called the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP).

According to Planned Parenthood it was “The recently passed health care reform law” that “created the first ever state-grant program from the federal government that funds comprehensive sex education” (emphasis added).

Whereas Title V abstinence education funds must be matched by the state at the rate of $3 from the state for every $4 of federal money, the Obama administration-created PREP program does not require state matching funds. The Obama administration has provided a financial incentive for states to use only comprehensive sex ed curricula.

In addition to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, who else loves PREP? The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) loves PREP, that’s who. How’s that for an unholy triumvirate: the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL.

Here’s an almost amusing quote from “NARAL Pro-choice Virginia” regarding abstinence education: “We have to put ideology behind us and focus on promoting age-appropriate comprehensive medically accurate sex education for our youth.” Can any spokesperson for an anti-woman, anti-life, extremist organization like NARAL actually claim with a straight face that NARAL’s  views are non-ideological? And it’s certainly debatable whether sex ed resources from, for example, Planned Parenthood are non-ideological and age-appropriate.

NARAL’s panties were all in a bundle because Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell (R) rejected PREP. Virginia’s Governor McDonnell rejected PREP’s comprehensive sex education, while our own Governor Quinn rejected Title V abstinence education.

Twenty-nine states participated in the 2009 Title V abstinence education program, which provides states with federal block grants for state abstinence education programs. By the August 30, 2010 deadline, eight new states had applied for Title V funding while only five of the previous 29 declined. Illinois has the dubious honor of being one of the five.

Despite unpersuasive claims to the contrary, research has shown that abstinence education is at least as if not more effective than comprehensive sex ed as I outlined here in Feb. 2010.

Comprehensive sex ed promoters like Martha Kempner of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) claim that abstinence programs like the one I discussed last Feb. are failures. As I wrote earlier:

Kempner declared that “Abstinence-only was an experiment and it failed.” Curiously, Ms. Kempner looked at the abstinence programs analyzed in this study, which have largely the same results as comprehensive sex ed programs–except that they better prepare students with a knowledge of STD-prevention–and she declares that only abstinence programs are failures.

I would argue that if abstinence programs are deemed a failure and worthy of defunding, then comprehensive sex ed programs, which in some studies have virtually the same results, should also be deemed a failure and defunded.

Moreover, abstinence education apparently reflects the values of a majority of Americans.

After significant public pressure, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released the results of their taxpayer-funded abstinence study: “The National Survey of Adolescents and Their Parents.”

This study produced a number of surprising and encouraging findings that abstinence education opponents would rather the public not read. Below are just a few of those findings. (In this study, “MKP” means the “Most Knowledgeable Parent.”):

  • Approximately 70 percent of parents surveyed are opposed to pre-marital sex both in general and for their own adolescents.
  • The majority of parents surveyed favor their adolescents receiving abstinence messages from multiple sources. Ordered from most preferred to least preferred, parents favored abstinence messages delivered at a place of worship (85 percent), a doctor’s office or health center (85 percent), school (83 percent), a community organization (71 percent), and the internet (55 percent).
  • [T]he majority of adolescents surveyed oppose pre-marital sex in general and for themselves,
  • Adolescents whose MKPs reported that they had previously participated in a class, program, or event that talked about waiting to have sex until marriage reported significantly more conservative views among their peers, even adjusting for the influence of other contributing factors such as age and household religiosity.

Although it’s too late now for Illinois to qualify for Title V abstinence education funds, it’s not too late to tell your children’s schools that you will homeschool your children for just their sex education.

Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins was the Illinois Family Institute’s Cultural Affairs Writer in the fall of 2008 through early 2023. Prior to working for the IFI, Laurie worked full-time for eight years...
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