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President Bush Promotes Abstinence Until Marriage in New Budget 
George W. Bush’s campaign for President incorporated a promise to promote abstinence-until-marriage as a means of reducing teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). On Friday, February 1, 2002, his administration, through HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson announced that, "President Bush’s budget for 2003 will increase funding for abstinence education programs to $135 million to ensure that more children receive the message that abstinence is the best option for avoiding unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases." The budget request is a $33 million increase over current funding for abstinence-only education. Secretary Thompson added, "For the first time, the federal government has demonstrated its commitment to bringing equity to the message of abstinence and teen family-planning services."

The budget request will include $73 million for the HHS Community-Based Abstinence Education program, $50 million for abstinence education grants to the U.S. states and territories, and $12 million will be administered through the Adolescent Family Life Program of the department’s Office of Population Affairs.

This is great news to us and terrible news for Planned Parenthood and the so-called "family-planning" agencies who earn millions of dollars teaching youngsters how to engage in sexual activity, equipping them with condoms and contraceptive drugs which do not protect them against STDs, some of which are deadly or incurable, and often don’t prevent pregnancy. This is called "comprehensive" sex education. Later, when the youngsters return to find out if they are pregnant or have contracted a disease, Planned Parenthood stands at the ready to "treat" them or provide or counsel for abortion, after which they go back into the revolving door of sexual promiscuity, disease, eventual sterility or death from cervical cancer. It all costs money, and if the kids don’t have it, the federal government pays the tab.

Project Reality, the pioneer in abstinence education, provides some statistics on the consequences of sexual activity before marriage:

  • Most people who acquire STDs in the U.S. are under 25. 10,000 teens per day or one every 8 seconds contracts a STD.  
  • 15.3 million STDs are contracted each year in the US – 42,000 per day or one every 2 seconds. 
  • 70 million Americans (of a population of 280 million) have a viral, incurable STD. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the leading viral STD (5.5 million cases a year). HPV is the cause of 93-99.7% of the cases of cervical cancer, which kills 4,800 women per year. 
  • 40-60 million Americans have incurable genital herpes. While condom usage has increased over-all and most among teens, STDs have also increased, and most among teens.  
  • Chlamydia is the most prevalent STD in the U.S.(4 million cases per year), especially among sexually active women less than 20 years of age. Chlamydia produces no signs or symptoms. It causes pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and dangerous complications during pregnancy and birth.
President Bush is absolutely right when he says "The only sure fire way to prevent pregnancy is through abstinence." It is also the only way to insure that our children are free to live healthy, productive lives and avoid a lifetime of enslavement to diseases, often incurable, that lead to the heartbreak of infertility and even death. In promoting abstinence-until-marriage education, the Bush administration will assist parents who share his concerns about the health and well being of their children. It will set a standard for healthy behavior backed by the power and influence of the federal government.

Please don’t hesitate to call the White House (202/456-1414) to thank President Bush and register your support for this portion of his budget plan. Call your Member of Congress (202/224-3121) to urge approval of the proposed $135 million for abstinence-only education. Think about it — the life you save may be your child’s.

Republican National
Coalition for Life

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