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Abstinence-Only Funds Won't Die

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Nbroverman

George W. Bush's consistent support for abstinence-only sex education funding was the bane of many health care professionals' existence. When President Obama removed funding for the programs in his budget earlier this year, it seemed a new day had dawned. But money for abstinence-only education is back -- thanks to antigay Utah senator Orrin Hatch.

The Senate Finance Committee in September approved an amendment, pushed by Hatch, to its health care reform bill that set aside $50 million in annual funding to abstinence-only programs, even though, according to The Atlantic and other publications, numerous studies have found that abstinence-only sex education -- as opposed to teaching about birth control or safer-sex practices -- does not work.

Earlier this month the Finance Committee approved its overall health care bill in a 14-9 vote, with all Democrats and Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine in support. The Hatch amendment was included in the version that passed. The National Sexuality Resource Center says Hatch wants $250 million for abstinence-only funding over five years.

The NSRC is urging voters to reach out to their senators and demand that they remove the funding for abstinence-only programs. The group also says that on Wednesday sex education professionals are "calling in and standing up to Hatch's back room bullying."

Nbroverman
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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.