Nearly Half of U.S. States Now Refusing Abstinence-Only Sex Ed and Federal Funding
As reported at Time Magazine this week, most of the United States has started to wise up about the ineffectiveness and bias of abstinence-only (which differs from abstinence-plus or comprehensive sex education, both of which contain accurate and in-depth information on sex and sexual health, but which usually also make clear that forestalling sex or certain kinds of sex is often most safe) sex education pushed by the Bush administration, and which is funded by billions of taxpayer dollars to date, and $50 million more has been given to the programs this year.
To provide some perspective, up to this year, our tax dollars have provided over 1.5 billion for abstinence-only sex education. Title X, on the other hand, which provides actual family planning services such as birth control, pre-natal care, STI testing and community education (the real kind), has continued to get a considerably lower budget.
Since the end of 1996, as we've been reporting throughout, states who want federal funding for their sex education have been forced to choose programs which contain vast amounts of purposeful misinformation, often do not include sound, accurate information on birth control and safer sex, and which inform teens that any kind of sex before or without (heterosexual) marriage is physically and psychologically harmful.
But recently, many states have made the laudable decision to refuse the funding and the programs to assure that they are educating their youth, not indoctrinating them or providing misinformation to scare or coerce them into sexual decisions that are more about the agendas of others than the real best interest of teens and young adults. Hooray! 26 states remain who are still are accepting and plan to continue to accept the money and those programs. Boo!
The states remaining which still use abstinence only programs and who have not stated an intent to refuse the programs and funding past the end of this fiscal year are, with the amounts they have received to date this year according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
Florida, $1.9 million
Georgia, $1.1 million
Illinois, $1.4 million
Michigan, $1.1 million
New Hampshire, $71,177
North Carolina, $936,723
North Dakota, $66,744
South Carolina, $563,972
South Dakota, $102,285
Texas, $3.6 million
West Virginia, $289,389