2010 Budget Removes Abstinence Funding
Special Report - July 31, 2009
Federal funding for abstinence education is not included in the fiscal year 2010 budget bill for the Department of Health and Human Services and other government agencies that was considered by the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday. The full committee met July 30 to mark up the bill, “HR 3293-Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010.” The spending bill was approved by the Senate Appropriations Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee in a voice vote on July 28. It includes $163.1 billion in federal funding for a variety of programs, including $104 million for a new teen pregnancy prevention program that will fund “evidence-based efforts to reduce teen pregnancy.”
The U.S. House approved its version of HR 3293 on July 24 by a 264 to 153 vote. The House bill replaces the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) abstinence education program with a “new evidence-based teenage pregnancy prevention program” to operate under the HHS Administration for Children and Families. The House bill appropriates $114 million to the new teen pregnancy prevention program. The North Carolina House members who voted for the bill include Democrats: G.K. Butterfield, Bob Etheridge, Larry Kissell, Mike McIntyre, Brad Miller, David Price, Heath Shuler and Mel Watt. Voting against HR 3293 from North Carolina were House Republicans: Howard Coble, Virginia Foxx, Patrick McHenry, and Sue Myrick. Congressman Walter Jones was listed as not voting.
During debate over the bill in the House Appropriations Committee on July 17, an amendment was offered by Representatives Robert Aderholt (R-AL) and Zach Wamp (R-TN) to “require the amounts appropriated for teenage pregnancy prevention be used to provide a grant to each organization approved to receive such a grant under the Community-based Abstinence Education program for the full duration of the grant period.” The amendment was rejected by a 24-35 vote.
June 30 marked the end of Title V funding from the federal government for abstinence education programs, meaning that these programs must now look elsewhere for funding. Title V provided $50 million a year in block grants to states exclusively for the teaching of abstinence education, and North Carolina typically received about $1.2 million of these funds.
“The apparent end of abstinence funding will be a blow to sex education programs in North Carolina,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “What is so strange about the Congressional action is that abstinence programs only received a small part of sex education funds appropriated at the federal level. Abstinence education has actually worked, reducing teen pregnancy rates and sexually transmitted diseases.”
Copyright © 2009. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.