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Bush Administration Twists Facts to Trick States into Accepting Funds for Ineffective Abstinence-Only Programs
Title V Grant Extension Is a Gimmick
Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) today criticized the Bush administration for misleading states about the certainty of Title V abstinence-only program funding in a new grant extension announced last week. The move is a gimmick aimed directly at countering states’ rejection of failed abstinence-only programs.
"On the way out the door, the Bush administration is once again caught misrepresenting the facts to push its own agenda," said PPFA President Cecile Richards. "This latest announcement is nothing more than a gimmick and offers nothing new or different for states that want to provide effective programs to protect teens’ health and safety.”
Last week, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) sent an e-mail to states touting the extension of the Title V, Section 510 State Abstinence Education Grant Program, and informing them that they may now submit one application for funding for five years, from fiscal year (FY) 2009 through FY2013. Previously, states were required to submit a new Title V grant application each year.
The grant extension distorts the facts around funding availability for Title V. In fact, Congress must still determine whether to grant an extension of the program past June 2009, meaning funding uncertainty still exists for state programs.
“The facts are clear: abstinence only programs do not work,” Richards said. “The government’s own evaluation of Title V found that these programs did nothing to increase abstinence or delay sexual initiation among participating youth.”
To date, 25 states have declined federal abstinence-only dollars. Officials in many of those states have expressed clear and unequivocal support for real solutions that give teens the information they need to be healthy and safe.
In the last decade, more than $1.5 billion in federal and state funding has been wasted on dangerous abstinence-only programs that deny teenagers lifesaving information. It’s time to put that money toward real solutions that will help prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections among teenagers.