President’s Budget Defunds Failed Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs

May 8, 2009 12:00 am

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Funding Restrictions Also Deny Critical Access To Abortion Care FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECONTACT: (202) 675-2312; WASHINGTON – The Obama administration, in its 2010 budget released yesterday, took the positive step of defunding failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs which, for more than a decade, have censored young people’s access to basic, medically accurate and age-appropriate information. “President Obama has taken an important and much appreciated step forward in helping young people make healthy and responsible decisions about sexuality and relationships,” said Vania Leveille, ACLU Legislative Counsel. “His budget proposal should be the beginning of the end of federal funding for ab-only programs. It is time to discard permanently ideologically-based programs, like abstinence-only, that censor information, promote gender stereotypes, marginalize gay and lesbian youth, and may jeopardize the well-being of teenagers. Young people deserve comprehensive sexuality education instead of harmful and ineffective abstinence-only-until marriage programs.” Despite including the positive step of defunding ab-only programs, the president’s budget fails to remove abortion funding restrictions. These funding restrictions affect millions of women, including low income women, federal employees and their dependents, women in federal prisons, Native American Women, and Peace Corp volunteers. “We are extremely disappointed that President Obama would continue policies that effectively deny millions of women access to a fundamental and constitutionally protected health care service,” said Leveille. “Abortion care is an essential part of comprehensive health care. Women who rely on the government for their health care ought not be penalized in this manner.” # # #

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