President Obama has proposed a budget for 2017, which removes a $10 million annual grant that goes towards funding “abstinence-only” sexual education classes in public schools. By getting rid of this money, Obama ends the financial incentive for states to continue to teach this one-sided sexual education program.
“Abstinence Only” is a sex education course that does not talk about condoms or other forms of birth control because the class is encouraging teenagers to abstain from sex. This curriculum is both outdated and ineffective for many teenagers, however it is favored by many Christian groups and supported by many Republican lawmakers.
This program does not talk about the anatomy, puberty, sexual health, or orientation. On top of that, these classes have been known to create hostile environments for same-sex couples, couples who engage in premarital sex, or others who do not fit in the cis heteronormative image of sexuality that this class is presenting.
The CEO of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, Jessica Boyer, said in a statement that she is “grateful for President Obama’s leadership in seeking to end abstinence-only-until-marriage funding once and for all.”
“SIECUS also applauds the President’s proposed $4 million increase for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, helping communities implement evidence-informed and innovative strategies to support the sexual health of our nation’s youth,” she continued. “The continued funding for the Division of Adolescent and School Health and request for future Personal Responsibility Education Program funding demonstrates this administration’s commitment to secure the right to quality sexuality education for young people.”
Now that the proposal has been made, Congress has until the end of their fiscal year, which is October 1, to debate the budget. With Obama leaving the office in the next ten months, the Republicans in Congress are bound to make sure he does not leave without a fight.
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