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Obama’s Budget Cuts Funds for Abstinence-Only Sex Ed

091026-N-5549O-249 JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Oct. 26, 2009) President Barack Obama delivers remarks to an audience of Sailors and Marines before introducing President Barack Obama during a visit to U.S. Naval Air Station Jacksonville. During his visit he also met with gold star families-families that have lost a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan, to personally thank them for their sacrifice. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O'Brien/Released)

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 02/17/16

This seems noteworthy to me:

Though Republicans like to think of themselves as the party that cuts waste, fraud, and abuse, Democrats, too, propose putting the ax to programs that they’d like to see go away. Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal is no exception. Though it generally offers higher levels of government spending than Republicans favor, that doesn’t mean Obama loves every program the government runs. In fact, he’s proposing to entirely eliminate dozens of initiatives — often small grant programs — that his team has identified as superfluous or unnecessary.
The one that’s likely to get the most political attention is eliminating a $10 million-a-year grant program for abstinence-only education run by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Some context:

In a move that will likely anger the Republican majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, Obama’s budget eliminates funding for abstinence-only sex education in schools. Currently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers grants to states and territories for teaching abstinence-based curriculums in sex education classes. Obama has proposed cutting this funding completely, thereby removing a huge incentive for states to teach such programs. Ultimately, Obama’s recommended cut represents a realistic vision for the future of sex education in the U.S., as research has typically demonstrated that teaching abstinence does not effectively reduce rates of teenage pregnancy. The problem is that congressional Republicans probably won’t see it that way. Sex education has long remained a moral dilemma for lawmakers in Congress, and it’s likely that the debate will reemerge later this year, as Congress sets out to shape and approve Obama’s budget. …Over more than 25 years, the federal government has spent more than $1.5 billion supporting abstinence-based education. This isn’t the first time that the Obama administration has worked to reduce that spending — and indeed, abstinence education spending has fluctuated, declining in some years only to be reinstated the next. All the while, research has shown that abstinence education is neither entirely effective nor entirely popular among Americans. In 2011, researchers from the University of Georgia found that abstinence-based education actually correlated positively with cases of teenage pregnancy. That’s not to say that focusing on abstinence encouraged teenage pregnancy, but it certainly demonstrates that such curriculums doesn’t effectively prevent youth pregnancy. Although there’s plenty of research out there to back this finding up, the issue isn’t so cut and dry. For instance, a study published just a year earlier claimed that abstinence-only education effectively delayed sex among sixth- and seventh-graders.

It should be noted that this isn’t the first time the president has proposed doing this in his budget. He’s done it multiple times, in fact.

Photo: Wikipedia

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