|Arizona 16th State to Reject Federal Abstinence-Only Program: Governor Calls for Comprehensive Sex E|
WASHINGTON, DC (January 23, 2008) – Last week, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano rejected Title V federal funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, saving the state $1 million in matching funds. Arizona joins 15 other states, including California, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin and New Jersey, in rejecting the ineffective, inaccurate and gender-biased program.
"Governor Napolitano and the other 15 governors should be applauded for their actions,” said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth. “These governors are sending a clear message to Congress - - stop funding programs that don’t work. They want honest and accurate sex education programs for youth in their states.”
Last fiscal year, Arizona received $3,920,566 in federal funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, including $1,034,776 in Title V funding. Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage funds have gone to programs run by Catholic Social Services, various county departments of health and crisis pregnancy centers located in Phoenix. Governor Napolitano cut the required state matching funds from the FY 2009 budget, affirmatively stating that her state wanted “real, comprehensive sex education in our schools.”
States that take the Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage funds are prohibited, by law, from providing information about the health benefits of condoms and birth control in protecting young people against teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and HIV. States are also required to ensure that sub-grantees do not provide information other than failure rates about contraception.
"Arizona’s decision to stop accepting these restrictive dollars from the federal government shows a commitment to helping its young people make the best decisions about their lives and their health,” added Wagoner. “Providing young people with honest and accurate information about their sexual health is what public health demands and the American public wants.”
"There is a clear and growing consensus on the part of our nation’s governors that these ideological programs do real harm to young people,” concluded Wagoner. “It’s time Congress got that same message.”
Advocates for Youth is a national, nonprofit organization that creates programs and supports policies that help young people make safe, responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.