Funding for Abstinence Program Extended

Federal funding for the second-largest abstinence education association in the country, which teaches sex education courses with an emphasis on abstinence, was extended another three months.

Congress’ unanimous vote to extend the funding was a shocking turn of events after Democratic leaders announced in May that they would let the $50 million grant expire on June 30. According to the Associated Press, the Democrats had attributed their opposition to the program based on reports that abstinence education wasn’t preventing students from having sex.

Though considered a victory for the abstinence education program it is not yet time to celebrate, said Valerie Huber, executive director of National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA).

“The battle is far from over,” she said. “We have no promises beyond three months.” The alternative to abstinence programs is “comprehensive sex education,” which teaches students how to use condoms and focuses curriculum on safe sex rather than complete abstinence.

“Although they receive 10 times the amount of government money as abstinence programs, so-called ‘comprehensive sex education’ has not been proven to delay teen sex,” Huber noted. “The predominant message [in sex education] encourages sexual activity. The message of abstinence is virtually nonexistent.”

The NAEA is encouraging those who believe in abstinence education to contact their congressional representative and tell them to continue funding the program past the three-month extension.

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