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Two years ago, President Barack Obama followed through on his campaign pledge to “not continue to fund abstinence-only programs.” As a result, President Obama’s 2010 budget eliminated funding for Community-Based Abstinence Education and several other abstinence-education programs.
Thankfully, U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (R-Geneva) has sponsored legislation to restore funding for abstinence-centered education. The “Abstinence-Centered Education Reallocation Act of 2011” (H.R. 2874) is a bill that will put a priority on the sexual risk avoidance message found in abstinence programs. It is important to note that this proposal will not increase federal spending, but will mandate a wiser use of existing funds.
“Since President Obama chose to eliminate all funding for abstinence education, this bill is a welcome sign that sexual risk avoidance can once again be the primary prevention message that youth will receive in classrooms across America,” stated Valerie Huber, Executive Director of the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA).
Considering the push for “comprehensive” condom-training sex education in Springfield by liberal lawmakers and their allies (Illinois chapters of the ACLU and Planned Parenthood), this common sense, pro-life, pro-family legislation is more important than ever.
Take ACTION: Click HERE to send an email or a fax to your U.S. Representative asking them to support or even co-sponsor this important legislation.
by the NAEA
President Obama eliminated abstinence education funding from federal sex education programming when he sent his first budget to Congress in FY 2010. A bipartisan amendment restored a small portion of abstinence education funding, but the disparity between contraceptive-centered and abstinence-centered education is currently 16:1.
Seeking to correct this disparity, two efforts are underway in the U.S. House to restore an emphasis on Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) Education commonly known as abstinence-centered education:
1. U.S. House Subcommittee Restores Abstinence Funding to the Budget. U.S. Representative Denny Rehberg (R-MT), chairman of the U.S. House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriation Subcommittee, released the Draft Fiscal Year 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services Funding Bill that includes a funding provision for Abstinence Education. The bill reduces the FY 2011 sex education funding from $100 million to $40 million, allocating $20 million dollars for abstinence education in FY 2012. This bill is only a draft, so additional work is needed to assure that Abstinence Education is included in the final bill that will go to the President’s desk.
2. U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (R-IL) introduces the “Abstinence Education Reallocation Act” (H.R. 2874). This bill will authorize a change in sex education policy, once again placing an emphasis on sexual risk avoidance abstinence education. In addition, this bill is a “net zero” bill. It is not an earmark request because it is a competitive grant program, but it takes money that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had in her slush fund and mandates that a portion of it be used for abstinence education (AE). This is an important consideration for fiscally conservative members.
The benefits to the Hultgren Bill are that it:
- provides a marker for support of AE to inform the current FY 2012 budget debate,
- it closes the loopholes in current AE legislative language, that permits the Obama Administration to divert funds for non-abstinence activities, and
- it changes policy toward a sexual risk avoidance (SRA) approach and away from the current contraceptive-centered approach – all without adding any new funding!
Click HERE to watch U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren’s short speech on the U.S. House floor regarding H.R. 2874.