RH Reality Check broke the story on Tuesday about the Bush Department of Health and Human Services end run on abstinence-only funding, and so far mainstream media is ignoring one more assault on sexual health and education by the Bush Administration. Other new media outlets like Truthout are following our coverage.
Today, Planned Parenthood reached out to media on this important issue, hoping to stir more coverage with this statement:
the way out the door, the Bush administration is once again caught
misrepresenting the facts to push its own agenda," said PPFA President
Cecile Richards. "This latest announcement is nothing more than a
gimmick and offers nothing new or different for states that want to
provide effective programs to protect teens’ health and safety."
Last week, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) sent an e-mail to states touting the extension of the Title V,
Section 510 State Abstinence Education Grant Program, and informing
them that they may now submit one application for funding for five
years, from fiscal year (FY) 2009 through FY2013. Previously, states
were required to submit a new Title V grant application each year.
The grant extension distorts the facts around funding
availability for Title V. In fact, Congress must still determine
whether to grant an extension of the program past June 2009, meaning
funding uncertainty still exists for state programs.
"The facts are clear: abstinence only programs do
not work," Richards said. "The government’s own evaluation of Title V
found that these programs did nothing to increase abstinence or delay
sexual initiation among participating youth."
To date, 25 states
have declined federal abstinence-only dollars. Officials in many of
those states have expressed clear and unequivocal support for real
solutions that give teens the information they need to be healthy and
In the last decade, more than $1.5 billion in federal and state funding has been wasted on dangerous abstinence-only programs
that deny teenagers lifesaving information. It’s time to put that money
toward real solutions that will help prevent unintended pregnancy and
sexually transmitted infections among teenagers.