State faces loss of abstinence sex ed. funding
MONTGOMERY (AP) — Officials involved with Alabama's eight federally funded abstinence-only education programs say they are bracing for a loss of funds that would mean shuttering some of the projects and greatly reducing the rest.
Susan Stewart, who directs the state health department's Abstinence-Until-Marriage Education Program, said the state will lose more than $950,000 annually if U.S. legislators do not extend the Title V program.
The program, which distributes $50 million to abstinence programs nationwide, was set to expire on June 30, but was extended for another three months. Its future beyond that is uncertain, with Democratic leaders questioning the effectiveness of abstinence-only education.
Stewart said the state's eight community-based programs reach 42,000 students ages 10-19 in 38 of Alabama's 67 counties. Some of the programs will be able to function at a smaller capacity without the funds, but others will be shut down, she said.
Critics of abstinence-only programs point to an April report by Mathematic Policy Research Inc. that found that youths who participated were no more likely to abstain from sex than those who didn't.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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