Today, the Abstinence Education Reallocation Act was introduced in the 113th Congress. This bill will begin to correct the huge 16:1 funding disparity between contraceptive-centered vs. abstinence-centered sex education within current sex education policy. Most parents support more equitable funding for abstinence education, with Democratic parents even more supportive than Republican parents.
Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) introduced the bill in the House. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) plans to introduce the bill in the Senate after the Congressional recess.
The Abstinence Education Reallocation Act establishes a community-based Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) abstinence education program. The program is designed to reinforce the healthy decisions being made by the majority of teens who aren’t sexually active, according to a CDC report – and to empower those who are sexually experienced with skills to choose a healthier lifestyle. At least 25 peer reviewed studies demonstrate that all teens can benefit from the skills they receive in their SRA abstinence education classes, regardless of whether they are sexually active or sexually abstinent.
The bill will not increase the federal budget, but will fund the program through monies already allocated in Secretary Sibelius’ Prevention and Public Health Fund.
Valerie Huber, President of NAEA notes: “We appreciate the bipartisan leadership of Rep. Hultgren and Rep Lipinski in advocating for the health of America’s teens. Teens often remark that they wished more adults believed they were capable of making healthy decisions. These Congressional leaders are sending teens a strong message of their support and the passage of this bill will amplify that support by providing practical skills for them to succeed in achieving optimal sexual health.”
The Abstinence Education Reallocation Act provides for programs that give information that will help teens avoid all sexual risk, in contrast to another bill introduced today by Sen. Lautenberg and Rep. Lee, which provides harmful messaging that puts teens at risk by suggesting that condoms make sex safe. The CDC revealed that 1 in 4 teen girls (and 1 in 2 African American girls) has at least 1 STD. Half of the prominent teen STDs are still transmissible even with the use of a condom.  A recent study revealed that nearly 9 in 10 parents want their children to know accurate information on the limitations of condoms – the truth that only Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) abstinence education programs provide.
Huber comments: “Teens deserve more than a ‘good enough’ message that assumes they will be sexually active. Teens deserve more than a ‘still at risk’ message that inaccurately promises ‘safety’ as long as they have sex with a condom. Teens deserve the encouragement and skills to avoid all sexual risk. The Abstinence Education Reallocation Act provides just that.”
NAEA strongly supports the passage of the Abstinence Education Reallocation Act and urges Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to cosponsor this important bill.
NAEA is a professional association representing organizations and individuals who support a priority on risk avoidance through abstinence education. NAEA members serve students across the nation. For more information, visit the NAEA website: www.theNAEA.org and www.abstinenceworks.org.