Advocates for Youth Responds to Latest Doctor Fix Bill

Statement by Debra Hauser, President of Advocates for Youth

We are terribly disappointed with the current Doc Fix bill, designed to address Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (known as SGR). While the current bill does contain an extension of the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), which provides funding for critical programs that address issues of unintended teen pregnancy and sexuality transmitted infections, overall the bill goes too far in trading away the health and well being of young people for political expediency. 

By including abortion care restrictions and extending the Hyde Amendment; outrageously increasing funding for ineffective and misguided abstinence-only-until-marriage programs by $25 million a year; and falling short with only a two-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, this bill fails to meet its intended goal to advance health and justice priorities. When Congress singles out children and young people, especially those most in need of assistance by denying them health care and lifesaving information about condoms and contraception, we strip them of the opportunity to take personal responsibility for their health as they grow into adulthood. The unrelenting attack on young people’s right to sexual health information and services must end. We must begin to recognize young people’s right to lead healthy lives.