David Brody

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White House on Abstinence-Only Programs

It has been widely reported that The White House has totally axed funding for abstinence-only programs but a White House official tells The Brody File that there is still a chance that these programs could still receive government funding. Here's what this White House official tells me:

“The President is deeply committed to reducing levels of teen pregnancy and believes that parents, families, communities, and the government must come together to address this issue.  The budget increases overall funding for teenage pregnancy prevention, which may include education on abstinence, and supports programs based on research.

In the budget, 75 percent of funding in a new teenage pregnancy prevention program will be directed to programs that have demonstrated by rigorous research to prevent teen pregnancy.  The rest of the funds will be directed to promising, but not yet proven, programs for which we have some indication that they achieve the goal of teen pregnancy prevention.  Those programs would have to agree to participate in a rigorous evaluation, and abstinence-only programs could qualify.”

So let's get to the bottom line here. If abstinence-only groups want the Obama Administration to funnel more money their way, they are going to pretty much have to make some changes to their programs and/or show that their programs are effective. It's not like they would have to prove it BEFORE getting the money but it seems that they are going to have to show how they have either a new approach or some sort of an adjustment to their existing programs.

The White House is clearly going off the data from a long anticipated study of abstinence only programs.That study, authorized by Congress, showed that these programs don't really work in preventing teen sex. I know the results of that study are disputed by the abstinence-only community but that is the tough terrain they are dealing with. More on that study here. Read more about the overall issue here.

Get the abstinence-only viewpoint here.

Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 7:55 AM

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