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FY2009 Sex Ed Abstinence Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet

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FY2009 Sex Ed Abstinence Fact Sheet

  1. 1. Invest in Comprehensive Sexuality Education Stop Funding Abstinence-only Programs NASTAD supports increased funding for comprehensive HIV prevention programs targeted at youth and opposes continued investment in unproven abstinence-only education programs. SUPPORT EVIDENCE BASED PROGRAMS FOR CDC DIVISION OF ADOLESCENT AND SCHOOL YOUTH HEALTH • The only federal funding for comprehensive sexual Increased federal funding for domestic HIV education is from CDC’s DASH program which prevention through the Centers for Disease provides funding to state and local education Control and Prevention's (CDC) Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention is needed to boost agencies to support the development and programs targeted at out of school youth. implementation of effective HIV prevention programs for school-aged children. The programs • Increased funding for CDC’s Division of are locally designed to target those most at risk for Adolescent and School Health (DASH) is sexual–risk taking behaviors and often include an needed to strengthen HIV prevention evaluation component. In FY2008, DASH’s school education efforts in schools. health program was funded at $40.2 million. • Passage of legislation that creates a dedicated RESPONSIBLE EDUCATION ABOUT LIFE (REAL) ACT funding stream for abstinence-based comprehensive sexuality education is needed. The Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act, S 972 / HR 1653, sponsored by Representative Barbara • Funding for youth-targeted HIV prevention Lee (D-CA) and Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) education continues to be an important provides funding to states to support a component of state and local health comprehensive approach to sexuality education. The department HIV/AIDS prevention activities. legislation, endorsed by NASTAD, allows states to receive federal funds for medically accurate, age- • Comprehensive sexuality education programs appropriate comprehensive sexuality education in have been found effective in delaying the onset schools that includes information on both abstinence of sexual intercourse, reducing the number of and contraception, from both a values and public sexual partners, and increasing contraception health perspective. REAL authorizes state programs and condom use.1 to operate under a nine-point definition of quot;family life education programsquot; that stands in sharp contrast • There continues to be no scientific evidence to to the eight-point definition of Section 510(b) that indicate abstinence-only programs have any now governs federal abstinence funding. REAL efficacy in delaying the sexual debut of youth. defines a program of quot;family life educationquot; as one that: • An Institute of Medicine Report recommends 1. is age-appropriate and medically accurate; that “Congress, as well as other federal, state, 2. does not teach or promote religion; and local policymakers, eliminate the 3. teaches that abstinence is the only sure way to requirements that public funds be used for avoid pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases; abstinence-only education, and that states and 4. stresses the value of abstinence while not local school districts implement and continue ignoring those young people who have had or are to support age-appropriate comprehensive sex having sexual intercourse; education and condom availability.”2 5. provides information about the health benefits
  2. 2. Sexuality Education and side effects of all contraceptives and barrier programs. Of that amount, over $1 billion has been methods as a means to prevent pregnancy; spent in the last five years. In FY2008, AFL 6. provides information about the health benefits programs were funded at $13 million. Annually, and side effects of all contraceptives and barrier the Abstinence Education Formula Block Grant methods as a means to reduce the risk of Program receives $50 million. To date, seventeen contracting sexually transmitted diseases, states (i.e. Arizona, California, Colorado, including HIV/AIDS; Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, 7. encourages family communication about Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, sexuality between parent and child; New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, Wisconsin, 8. teaches young people the skills to make and Wyoming) have rejected this abstinence responsible decisions about sexuality, including funding. In FY2008, Congress funded CBAE at $113 how to avoid unwanted verbal, physical, and million. sexual advances and how not to make unwanted ABSTINENCE FUNDING STREAMS verbal, physical, and sexual advances; and 9. teaches young people how alcohol and drug use Adolescent Family Life Demonstration Grants can affect responsible decision making. Program Enacted in 1981, the goal of the Adolescent Family ABSTINENCE FUNDING HISTORY Life (AFL) program, administered by the Office of Population Affairs (OPA) is to prevent premarital NASTAD is concerned with the significant increase adolescent pregnancy by promoting the values of in federal and state resources directed toward chastity and self-discipline, as well as to promote abstinence-only education programs for youth. adoption as the preferred option for pregnant Currently, three federal programs fund abstinence- adolescents and to provide care services for only education - the Adolescent Family Life (AFL) pregnant and parenting adolescents. program; the Abstinence Education Formula Block Grant Program; and the Community-Based Since 1997, programs funded through AFL for Abstinence Education (CBAE) Grants. abstinence-only education have been tied to the eight-point definition in the Temporary Assistance Since 1996, the U.S. government has spent over $1.6 for Need Families (TANF) law of 1996 (see below). billion dollars on abstinence-only-until-marriage As a result of report language in the FY1997 Labor- Health and Human Services (HHS) Appropriations PRESIDENT'S FY2009 BUDGET bill, prevention programs funded under AFL programs must comply with the eight-point The President's budget, released on February 4, definition. The language also waived the two-thirds 2008, increases funding for abstinence education care/one-third prevention funding formula by programs to a total of $204 million for FY2009, an devoting more funding to prevention than to care. increase of $28 million over FY2008. The entire These changes have been included in every increase is intended for the Community-Based subsequent Labor-HHS Appropriations bill. Abstinence Education (CBAE) Grants for a total of $141 million which will allow the program to Abstinence Education Formula Block Grant make additional awards. The President’s budget Program also cuts funds to DASH’s comprehensive school The 1996 welfare reform law, Section 510 (b) of Title heath program. The budget proposal flat funds V of the Social Security Act, guaranteed $50 million the Title X Family Planning program at $300 annually over five years for abstinence-only-until- million. The Title X Family Planning program marriage education grants to states. In February provides funding to family planning clinics to 2006, TANF was reauthorized through FY2010. provide reproductive health care to low-income Those states that choose to accept Section 510(b) women. funds, administered through the Administration for
  3. 3. Sexuality Education Children and Families, are required to match every Section 510(b) grant funding are only allowed to four federal dollars with three state dollars. States discuss contraception in terms of failure rates. have distributed the 510(b) funds to education Community-Based Abstinence Education Grants agencies, community-based organizations, faith- Established in FY2001, the Community-Based based organizations, and for statewide programs. Abstinence Education (CBAE) Grants, administered The funds can only be used for the exclusive by the Agency for Children and Families, award purpose of teaching the benefits of abstinence. competitive grants directly to community-based Recipients of these funds may not provide a organizations. This can include state and local participating adolescent with any other health departments. This funding is also tied to the information regarding sexual conduct in the same Section 510(b) eight-point definition. In certain setting as the abstinence programs. ways the CBAE grants are far more restrictive than funding granted under Section 510(b). Unlike 510 Programs that use the 510(b) funds are required to (b)-funded programs, CBAE-funded activities must adhere to an eight-point definition of abstinence- teach all eight components of the federal definition only programs. Abstinence education is defined of abstinence education, must target adolescents by Section 510 (b) as an education or motivational ages 12-18, and are specifically barred from program that: providing young people with any other education 1. has as its exclusive purpose teaching the social, regarding sexual conduct. In 2006 guidance for psychological, and health gains to be realized CBAE grantees, ACF introduced a series of by abstaining from sexual activity; ideologically based requirements for the programs. 2. teaches abstinence from sexual activity outside Examples of how to fulfill these requirements marriage as the expected standard for all included: “teaching that abstinence reflects school-age children; qualities of personal integrity and is honorable,” 3. teaches that abstinence from sexual activity is “teaching that non-marital sex in teen years may the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock reduce the probability of a stable, happy marriage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and as an adult,” and “teaching that non-marital teenage other associated health problems; sex may harm other.”3 4. teaches that a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the expected standard of sexual activity; 5. teaches that sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to have harmful REFERENCES psychological and physical effects; 6. teaches that bearing children out-of-wedlock is D. Kirby, No Easy Answer (Washington, D.C. National 1 likely to have harmful consequences for the Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 1997); D. Kirby, child, the child's parents, and society; Emerging Answers: Research Findings on Programs to 7. teaches young people how to reject sexual Reduce Teen Pregnancy (Washington, D.C.: National advances and how alcohol and drug use Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2001); and David increase vulnerability to sexual advances; and Satcher, The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote 8. teaches the importance of attaining self- Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior, June, 2001. sufficiency before engaging in sexual activity. 2 No Time to Lose: Getting More from HIV Prevention, M.S. Ruiz, A.R. Gable, E.H. Kaplan, M.A. Stoto, H. Fineberg, and J. Trusell, editors (Washington, D.C.: Institute of In FY2007, several changes were made to Title V Medicine, 2000), p.6. programs to make them stricter. States must now 3 Administration for Children and Families, Guidance “meaningfully represent each” of the eight Regarding Curriculum Content principles. Furthermore, ACF clarified that (Required for CBAE grantees as of FY 2006.), can be programs must focus on individuals ages 12 to 29, found at : where as historically states had focused on young people ages 9 to 14. In addition, recipients of the nence/cbaeguidance.htm