In New Budget, Obama Cuts Abstinence Education Funds

Religion Today

In New Budget, Obama Cuts Abstinence Education Funds


In the budget he delivered yesterday to Capitol Hill, President Barack Obama axed funds for sexual risk avoidance (SRA) education, even though research shows these programs can help curb the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, WORLD reports. The president also redirected funds away from avoidance education and towards sex-ed programs that emphasize contraception. In a statement, the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) said moving the money violates a 2010 congressional mandate to give states $50 million in Title V grants for SRA education. Currently, the ratio of federal funding for contraceptive-based sex education and abstinence-based programs is 16:1, respectively. Opponents of abstinence education criticize it as unrealistic and ineffective, assuming teens will choose to be sexually active. Consequently, they advocate for “safe sex” education instead. But SRA programs teach students more than just the wisdom of abstinence. They also learn other practical skills, like how to identify healthy relationships, avoid unwanted sexual advances, avoid STDs, and understand contraception. Since the president delivered his budget more than two months late, it isn’t clear how significantly it will affect the legislative process.

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