The Senate Finance Committee recently approved an amendment to the Health Care Reform bill that would bring back the failed Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program—despite the fact that abstinence-only education is ineffective and raises serious concerns about the separation of church and state. The amendment, offered by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), would reinstate the $50 million per year in funding for the program that expired on June 30 of this year.
Not a dime more should go towards abstinence-only education programs. They are a waste of taxpayer dollars—the overwhelming evidence shows that they are ineffective at delaying sexual initiation or reducing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and they’re no more likely or less likely than comprehensive sex education programs to increase the use of contraceptives. Moreover, abstinence-only education programs frequently promote a narrow and often religious perception of sex, relationships and marriage.
It’s not too late to have this amendment removed from the final health care bill—but we need to speak up now and let Congress know we don’t want our money going to abstinence-only education programs. Write a letter to your Senators and tell them to remove funding for the Title V abstinence-only program from the final health care reform bill.