Bolling on Abstinence Education
Good to see Lieutenant Governor Bolling out in front on this issue.
Bolling asks Kaine to reconsider abstinence-only sex-ed program cuts
Story by Chris Graham
Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling has a problem with Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine's move to eliminate $275,000 in funding from the state budget that was to go to five nonprofit programs in Virginia that administer abstinence-only sex-ed programs.
"The only sure way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases is abstinence outside of a monogamous marital relationship, and it is important that we clearly communicate this fact to parents and their children," Bolling wrote in a letter to Kaine that his office made public today.
Kaine last month submitted plans to eliminate the funding that is a matching grant for a federal program that provides funds to organizations and school systems that offer abstinence-only education programs.
Schools and organizations that do not receive federal funding for their programs will be able to continue offering locally-based abstinence-only sex education.
In an interview with The New Dominion on Wednesday, Kaine said his administration will "continue to focus our energies on abstinence-based programs - really promoting the ethical and moral values of abstinence. But you've got to give kids more information so that they make wise decisions."
"The goal is to all we can to delay youngsters from getting involved in sexual activity and ending unwanted pregnancy. Abstinence-only programs don't really do that," Kaine said.
In his letter, Bolling said that contrary to those assertions, "abstinence-only education programs have been proven to work in Virginia and throughout the nation."
"According to the Virginia Department of Health, from 1995 to 2005, the period during which abstinence education has received significant funding and expansion, Virginia saw an 18.5 percent decrease in teen pregnancies, while nationwide teen sexual activity fell from 54.1 percent to 46.8 percent," Bolling wrote in the letter.
"I encourage you to further review the efficacy of abstinence based education programs before eliminating state funding for these programs," Bolling wrote.
Chris Graham is the executive editor of The New Dominion.
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