No added funds for abstinence?

House Appropriations Committee offers some ineffective programs no raise for 2007.

Published June 14, 2006 6:36PM (EDT)

This just in over the "News From the Government That, Narrowly Speaking, Could Be Worse" wire: The House Appropriations Committee has recommended no increase in funding for abstinence-only sex-ed programs. The programs were under discussion as part of the fiscal year 2007 House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, noting in a press release that "close to $1 billion" has been spent over the last decade on "ineffective and inaccurate" abstinence-only programs, welcomed the development -- or, rather, lack thereof. Still, the failure to increase funding could be considered more an act of financial caution than of political protest. In a tightfisted atmosphere, many programs are subject to increased budgetary scrutiny; Planned Parenthood suggests that, at the very least, enough doubt has now been cast on abstinence-only programs that legislators are more challenged to justify throwing money their way.

"Planned Parenthood urges Congress to stay on track by refusing to waste money on programs that don't work," stated PPFA president Cecile Richards. "We must support education programs that will help American families -- programs that include information about abstinence as well as contraception, healthy communication, responsible decision-making, and prevention of sexually transmitted infections."

Then, of course, there's the matter of allocating money to programs that do work. Hate to say it, but now let's wait and see what gets cut.

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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