Blue Dogs Join GOP to Restore Abstinence-Only Education Funds

September 30, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The Senate Finance Committee voted late Tuesday, to restore $50 million a year in federal funding for abstinence-only education, which was eliminated from President Obama’s budget in a change of policy towards teen pregnancy prevention.

The passage of Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah’s amendment, restoring the funds to a failed program, was made possible by the yes votes of two Blue Dog Democrats. The two Democrats joining with Republicans were, Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas.

The close 12-11 vote was objected to by the Chairman of the Committee, Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana. Baucus disagreed with Hatch’s contention that abstinence-only education works.

Baucus then proposed an alternative amendment, which passed 14-9, that would make funds available for education on contraception and sexually transmitted diseases in addition to abstinence.

Both measures would still need to pass the full House and Senate.

Abstinence-only education has dominated the nation’s sexual education programs for teens for nearly a decade and have been a dismal failure, having little or no effect on preventing or delaying teen sex. In fact, teen pregnancy rates have increased.

According to the Office of Management and Budget, from 2001-2009, almost $1.3 billion in federal funds have been spent on abstinence-only education.

Many Texas school districts, with soaring teen pregnancy rates, have recently abandoned the abstinence-only education to also include education about contraception and prevention of sexually transmitted infections.

However, two Democrats and all of the Republicans serving on the Senate Finance Committee decided to ignore reality and restore millions of dollars of federal funds to a failed program, based on ideology alone.


Comments

4 Responses to “Blue Dogs Join GOP to Restore Abstinence-Only Education Funds”

  1. Old Man Dotes on September 30th, 2009 4:42 pm

    The Blue Dogs and the GOP are colluding to reduce actual education and increase the rate of teen pregnancy; “abstinence-only” birth control programs have been shown conclusively to result in higher rates of teen pregnancy. See http://www.positiveliberty.com/2009/02/this-just-in-religion-sucks.html

    “… here are the results:

    * Most religious states, highest ranks of teen pregnancy and divorce.

    * Least religious states, lowest ranks of teen pregnancy and divorce.

    As a Christian, I find this shameful and embarrassing, albeit explainable.

    First, I’m no fan of Organized Religion, particularly the swooning, charismatic, prosperity-Gospel version so popular in the South. Feelings are important, but they are no replacement for thinking.”

  2. Education … it’ll Cure What Ails Ya! « Duty Honor Country on September 30th, 2009 5:26 pm

    […] Blue Dogs Join GOP to Restore Abstinence-Only Education Funds … […]

  3. Makoma on September 30th, 2009 7:00 pm

    Old Man Dotes,

    Does the study (and you) take into account that **the percentage of black population ** marks the difference between the most religious states and the least religious states? If not, then it is misleading. Most blacks (and blacks have a significantly higher teen pregnancy rate than other groups) live in the South, which is more religious. Blacks – a Democratic vote bloc – also have a significantly higher divorce rate than the national norm. Given that blacks are a sizeable percentage in almost all of the Southern states, it would account for much (though not all) of the difference.

  4. Matt on September 30th, 2009 11:31 pm

    Makoma,

    Do you take into account that black people are people? If they do have a statistically higher rate of divorce and teen pregnancy, it doesn’t make any difference. They’re the same as everyone else in their respective states, affected by the same educational trends.

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