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Youth and Adults Throughout Illinois Urge Governor Blagojevich and Congress: Invest Our Tax Dollars Wisely
Date:4/15/2008

ir kids, and lawmakers to invest more wisely in programs that empower teens, support teachers, and assist parents.

"I can't imagine people paying their taxes this year would be happy to know how their tax dollars are being spent," says Ebony Hamlin, 18, a senior at Prosser Academy in Chicago. "It's time to get real and stop playing politics with our lives. We deserve sexual health education that meets our needs now and for our future."

Recent reports have highlighted alarming rates of sexually transmitted infections and rising birth rates among teens. Meanwhile, governors of 17 states, including Iowa, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Arizona, have recognized the misuse of public funds for abstinence-only programs that have no impact on the health outcomes of their youth and decided to reject Title V funds. Furthermore, Title V also requires states to match $3 for every $4 received from the federal government.

Evidence has been mounting that these programs are ineffective. Last year, a Congressionally mandated evaluation conducted by Mathematica of federally funded programs showed that these programs had no impact on student behavior. Students in abstinence-only programs were no less likely to engage in sexually activity, have fewer sexual partners, or use a condom more often. These programs have also been shown to be insufficient. In a review by Illinois experts of the curricula being used in Illinois schools, the curricula most frequently used in classrooms and paid for through abstinence-only funding, ranked in the bottom third when matched up with the standards and components for school-based sexual health education recommended by the national medical and public health associations.

More information about the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health is available at http://www.icah.org.

The Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH) was founded in 1977 as the Illinois Caucus on Teenage Pregn
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SOURCE Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health
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