Bill Would Extend Abstinence Funding
Special Report - July 11, 2008
A measure that would extend federal funding for Title V abstinence education programs for one year passed by unanimous consent in U.S. Senate on July 9 as part of a large healthcare bill, but could fall victim to a presidential veto. Section 201 of H.R. 6331-Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers of 2008 would extend authorization for the Title V abstinence education program through June 30, 2009. Title V provides $50 million a year in block grants to states exclusively for the teaching of abstinence education, and North Carolina typically receives about $1.2 million of these funds. Because of a lack of congressional action to reauthorize these dollars, federal assistance for abstinence education was set to expire on June 30, 2008. Reportedly, President Bush has threatened to veto H.R. 6331 primarily due to concerns over cuts the bill would make to healthcare coverage provided to seniors through the Medicare Advantage program. Considering the bill’s margin of passage through both houses of Congress, the votes may exist to override a veto by the President.
Last month, 13 members of the Senate and 85 members of the House, including North Carolina Representatives Sue Myrick, Robin Hayes, Patrick McHenry, and Mike McIntyre, signed a letter to leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, expressing their support for an extension of the Title V program for at least one year. “Abstinence education is an important primary health message that is taught to some 2.5 million youth across the country,” the letter notes. “Only by preserving intact funding for this approach can we assure that communities have a true choice in the nature of sex education provided to teens.”
Copyright © 2008. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.