Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What if abstinence legislation expires?

Posted at Baptist Press.

WASHINGTON (BP)--If Congress lets the Title V abstinence education funding legislation expire June 30, one of the major consequences will be a change in the language required by the government in discussing sexual abstinence with U.S. students.

Title V defines abstinence education with a list of criteria labeled A-H, including (A) "Has as its exclusive purpose, teaching the social, psychological and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity"; (B) "Teaches abstinence from sexual activity outside marriage as the expected standard for all school age children"; etc. (See below for entire list.)

Valerie Huber, executive director of the Washington-based National Abstinence Education Association, told Baptist Press the A-H list of teaching requirements will cease to exist if Title V is not reauthorized.

Though Title V is just one of three federal funding streams for abstinence education in the United States, it sets the tone for the other two.

A list of nine specific abstinence education studies compiled by NAEA and posted on their website confirm that abstinence education has substantially contributed to the decrease in teen pregnancy, reduces the likelihood that participants will initiate sexual activity, reduces the prevalence of casual sex among sexually experienced students and is effective with at-risk students and inner-city students.

"If your readers care about this issue, we would really encourage them to go to our website and see if they have members of Congress that sit on the Energy and Commerce Committee, and if so that they immediately contact them," Huber said.

Here's the link: National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA)

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