Your voices have been heard! This morning, the House Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (Labor HHS) eliminated traditional sources of funding for abstinence-only programs by passing the appropriations bill for FY 2010.
The Labor HHS subcommittee and the Obama Administration has recognized what we already knew: abstinence-only sex education programs do not work. The evidence is irrefutable that spending for abstinence-only education is not only wasteful, but also the programs put young women's health at risk. A 2004 study by the House Committee on Government Reform, conducted at the request of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-30-CA) found that over 80% of the curricula used in the largest federally funded abstinence-only programs contained "false, misleading, or distorted information about reproductive health."
In addition to pulling the plug on funding for failed abstinence-only sex education programs, the bill eliminates a ban on syringe exchange programs, which have been proven to be a highly effective strategy for preventing HIV.
The subcommittee's approval of this bill is terrific news, but our work is not complete. The bill will now face a vote in the House Appropriations Committee and in the full House of Representatives. Thank you for speaking out!
P.S. We will keep you up-to-date on future votes on this bill.