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Planned Parenthood Urges States to Apply for PREP Sex Ed Funding
Planned Parenthood Federation of America is urging states to apply for new federal funding under the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP). This year, Congress created PREP and authorized $55 million for states to fund evidence-based sex education programs that meet the needs of our nation’s young people. States have until August 30, 2010, to indicate interest in applying for PREP funds and then until February 2011 to submit details about their plans.
“Planned Parenthood applauds Congress and the Obama administration for creating PREP and investing in comprehensive sex education that will help keep teens healthy and safe,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country look forward to partnering with states to provide effective sex education for adolescents so that they have the information and skills they need to help them delay sexual activity and to protect themselves when they become sexually active.”
PREP is the first state-grant program from the federal government that funds comprehensive sex education that will teach teens how to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS, protect their health, make responsible decisions, and learn critical skills needed to form healthy relationships with parents, peers and partners. Study after study overwhelmingly shows that a comprehensive approach to sex education helps reduce teen pregnancy by helping young people to abstain from sex and to use contraception when they do engage in sexual behavior. A review of 115 program evaluations showed that two-thirds of the comprehensive programs had positive behavioral outcomes — including helping participants to delay sex, use condoms and contraception, decrease the number of sexual partners or decrease the frequency of sex.
Numerous medical and scientific organizations support comprehensive sexuality education, including the American Public Health Association, the American Medical Association, the Society for Adolescent Medicine, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Public opinion also shows wide-ranging support for comprehensive sex education. A Peter D. Hart Research poll shows a majority of voters in nearly every demographic category, including Democrats, Republicans, and independents, as well as Catholics and evangelical Christians, support comprehensive sex education.
Planned Parenthood is working with a broad partnership of national organizations to encourage states to expand effective sex education programs for young people. Planned Parenthood affiliate educators nationwide reach more than 1.2 million young people and adults with effective sex education each year. As a health care provider, Planned Parenthood knows firsthand the power of education to help teens make responsible decisions about their health. Every year Planned Parenthood provides five million women, men, and teens worldwide with the education and services they need to prevent unintended pregnancy and protect their health.