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April 8, 2009

NARAL Pro-Choice America Commends Rep. Hodes for Fighting Against Dangerous, Ineffective "Abstinence-Only" Funding

Rep. Paul Hodes, other pro-choice leaders in Congress circulate sign-on letter to eliminate funding for "abstinence-only" program

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, today praised pro-choice Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) for working to eliminate funding for dangerous and deceptive "abstinence-only" programs in the FY'10 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill. Rep. Hodes and other pro-choice lawmakers including Reps. Lois Capps (D-CA), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Jane Harman (D-CA), and Diana DeGette (D-CO), circulated a sign-on letter last week urging appropriators to eliminate funding for the discredited Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) program. CBAE is one of three separate programs that censor teachers from providing teens with accurate information about contraception.

"As a former teacher and elected state superintendent of schools, I thank Rep. Hodes for taking the lead and answering the public's call to move away from the failed Bush-backed 'abstinence-only' policies that have put our teens at risk," Keenan said. "For eight long years, President Bush and his anti-choice allies in Congress pushed hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into these programs that simply don't work. Our teens need accurate information to stay healthy and protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and disease - and under the Bush-era 'abstinence-only' policy, they just didn't get it."

"Most parents in America want to provide teens with the truth about contraception and other ways to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and avoid unintended pregnancy," Keenan said. "The parents I talk to believe that values are taught at home and the facts are taught at school and 'abstinence-only' policies do not reflect this principle. Thankfully, pro-choice Americans are beginning to see a real difference in Congress' approach to reproductive-health issues, and we will continue to work with them to advance commonsense policy solutions to prevent unintended pregnancy and therefore reduce the need for abortion."

View a copy of the Hodes letter here and for more information about the failed "abstinence-only" approach please read our fact sheet.

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