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Will This President Never Learn? Another Budget -- Another Increase to Ineffective Abstinence-Only Programs

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, President Bush submitted his FY 2009 budget which includes $204 million in funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, including a massive $27.7 million increase to Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE). The budget also includes $50 million for the Title V abstinence-only program which was scheduled to lapse in 2007 and another $13 million for the Adolescent Family Life Act.

"Enough is enough," said James Wagoner, President of Advocates for Youth. "These abstinence-only-until-marriage programs have failed to meet simple standards of effectiveness. Allocating another $204 million for FY 2009 is further proof that this President cares more about conservative ideology than sound science."

Over the last ten years, a number of reports should have sent clear signals to the President and Congress that funding abstinence-only-until-marriage programs was wrong. In 2000, the Institute of Medicine stated that the abstinence-only policy was "poor fiscal and public health policy" and recommended that the programs be stopped. In 2006, the Society for Adolescent Medicine (SAM) called the programs "scientifically and ethically flawed" and found that the "efficacy of abstinence-only interventions may approach zero." That same year, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) admonished Health and Human Services for its lack of oversight in ensuring that these programs provided "medically accurate information about condom effectiveness." And early last year, the long-awaited government-mandated study on the Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage programs conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. showed these programs did not impact teen behavior.

Additionally, governors from sixteen states, as diverse as, California, Maine, New Jersey, Montana and Wisconsin, have now rejected Title V federal funding for abstinence-only programs.

"President Bush continues to ignore these studies and the wishes of governors across the country," added Wagoner. "It's time that Congress sent a clear and unambiguous message -- our government should not be in the business of funding programs that don't work."

To date, over $1.5 billion has been spent in federal funding for ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.

Advocates for Youth is a national, nonprofit organization that creates programs and supports policies that help young people make safe, responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.

SOURCE Advocates for Youth
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