Congress Approves Bush Request to Fund Abstinence Education

( [email protected] ) Sep 11, 2004 05:22 PM EDT

On Friday, Sept 10, the House of Representatives approved President Bush’s request to pass H.R. 5006, a bill to fund the departments of Labor and Health and Human Services. If the Senate accepts it, the bill will raise federal funding for abstinence education programs to $173 million.

According to a new study released last April by the Heritage Foundation, programs like True Love Waits, significantly reduce the rate of out-of-wedlock births.

According to the study, young women who take a virginity pledge are at least 40 percent less likely to have a child out of wedlock and 12 times more likely to be virgins when they marry, compared to young women who do not make such a pledge.

While adjusting for differences in race, income, family structure, religiosity and other background conditions, the rate of out-of-wedlock births dropped 50 percent -- 29 percent of young women who had not made an abstinence pledge had a child out of wedlock, contrasted with only about 14 percent of young women who had made a pledge.

The study also indicated that teens who participated in sexual abstinence campaign were not more likely to have or gain a sexually transmitted disease.

According to LifeNews, once the Senate accepts the bill, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will administer the abstinence grants. The grants will be used to support programs targeting 12-18 year olds with the message of abstinence until marriage. Programs that are qualified for the grants must follow the eight –point definition for abstinence education.

Meanwhile, abortion advocates claim that the sex education program is ineffective and unproven.

"President Bush and his friends in Congress continue their drive to test at any cost the theory that ignorance is bliss. But as in so many other areas, their refusal to accept reality will have disastrous consequences," Elizabeth Cavendish said. Cavendish is the interim president of The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL).