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March 26, 2009

Senate Budget Committee Takes Stand Against Failed Bush-Era Program

Panel rejects amendment to restore funding for ineffective "abstinence-only" programs

Washington, DC – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, today praised members of the Senate Budget Committee for rejecting a measure that would have extended a major funding source of Bush's failed "abstinence-only" program.

"As someone who spent 25 years as a teacher and state education official in Montana, I commend the members of the Budget Committee who stood up to a divisive effort to force taxpayers to foot the bill for a failed relic of the Bush years," Keenan said. "Today's action in the Senate is a sign of change and a positive step toward moving away from the discredited and ineffective Bush policies of the past and toward programs that provide our teens with fact-based, realistic information in the classroom. As this budget bill moves through the process, we will work with our allies in the Senate to block additional efforts to increase or restore funding for programs that mislead young people."

The committee rejected the amendment, offered by Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY), by a vote of 10 to 13. The proposal would have secured five more years of taxpayer dollars for the Title V initiative, one of three separate programs that censor teachers from providing teens with accurate information about contraception. Multiple independent studies confirm that abstinence-only programs do not delay sexual activity among teens, nor do they address the serious challenges the country faces in this area, such as reports that one in four teen girls has a sexually transmitted disease. In fact, because this program is so notoriously inept, nearly half of the states no longer participate.

For more information about this topic and how NARAL Pro-Choice America's leadership in this area, including our work on Capitol Hill, please read our fact sheet.

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