Obama Proposes Eliminating Funding for Abstinence Education in 2015 Budget

Penny Starr | March 6, 2014 | 3:02pm EST
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President Barack Obama(AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama wants to eliminate funding for abstinence education funding in his 2015 budget, which he sent to Congress on Tuesday.

In the “Cuts, Consolidations, and Savings” portion of the budget, it shows that the $5 million funding to Health and Human Services (HHS) through its Title V Maternal and Child Health Program that was included in the 2014 budget is not part of Obama’s latest budget.

Supporters of “sexual risk avoidance” – or SRA abstinence education programs – expressed the need for such programs and the across-the aisle-approval of them by parents.

“By eliminating SRA (sexual risk avoidance) abstinence programs in his budget, the President has, once again chosen to ignore the wishes of parents and the approach that helps youth avoid all risk associated with teen sex,” Valerie Huber, president of the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA), said in a statement on Wednesday.

“This is truly unfortunate, but not at all surprising,” Huber said. “President Obama has sought to cut or eliminate SRA abstinence programs each year of his presidency.

“This - despite a growing body of research showing its effectiveness,” Huber said.

The NAEA provided a link to a survey of parents, both Republican and Democrats, who support abstinence education in large numbers, with nine out of 10 of the former and eight out of 10 of the latter in favor of the programs.

Patrick Fagan, director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute at the Family Research Council, told CNSNews.com that cutting abstinence education programs encourages sexual activity in young people.

"If you want increased alienation between men and women, between mothers and fathers, you will eliminate abstinence and work to increase the number of sexual partners our adolescents have,” Fagan said. “If you want society to gradually fall apart, you will work to remove all connections between sexual intercourse and marriage.

“Chastity is the foundational virtue of society, because on it is built the stability of the family. On it is built the stability of marriage,” he said. “President Obama in his budget is clearly indicating he does not want our young people to be chaste, nor our future families to be stable, nor our next generation to have both mother and father at home.”

In an online HHS fact sheet on abstinence programs dated Oct. 9, 2013, the purpose of the programs are described this way:

“The Title V State Abstinence Education Grant Program (AEGP) provides funding to States and Territories for abstinence education, and where appropriate, mentoring, counseling and adult supervision to promote abstinence from sexual activity. Projects focus on those groups most likely to bear children out of wedlock, including youth, ages 10 to 19, who are homeless, in foster care, live in rural areas or geographic areas with high teen birth rates, or come from racial or ethnic minority groups.”

Obama’s budget provides a five-year reauthorization of the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), with $75 million for mandatory sex education state block grants budgeted for 2015.

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