The National Abstinence Education Association says the Obama
administration, which has a history of opposing sexual abstinence
education programs, was essentially forced by Congress to award
hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to such programs.
Department of Health and Human Services recently announced nine
winners of $5 million in grants to be used for abstinence education
over the next two years. HHS's Administration for Children and
Families announced the winners in the Competitive Abstinence
Education Grant Program as part of the FY2012 spending approved by
Congress and signed by President Obama in late 2011.
The federal agency elected to divide the $5 million between two
years, thus guaranteeing the grant recipients assured funding for
both years of the grant. The grants to the nine groups ranged from
roughly $250,000 to $650,000.
Valerie Huber of the National Abstinence Education Association says
the amount of money is insignificant, but that tens of thousands of
youngsters in the target group (ages 10-19) could benefit. She
explains why the Obama administration, which opposes abstinence
education, appropriated any funds at all.
"They were specifically tasked by
Congress to appropriate these funds for an authentic abstinence
education program," she shares. "So they really had no recourse but
to do just that."
According to the abstinence proponent, Congress has proposed
dividing sex education funding equally between comprehensive sex-ed
programs and abstinence education for the upcoming fiscal year.
"I believe that there's like 20 or 25 million [dollars] for each
in there," says Huber. "If at the end of the day that proposal
would be approved for FY2013, then we would see a significant shot
in the arm for this program."
HHS published the list of grant program awards late last