Iowa to Reject Federal Abstinence-Only Funds
Following a state-briefing Thursday morning, Iowa Governor Chet Culver agreed to reject Title V federal abstinence only funds, Radio Iowa reports. Currently, 16 states have rejected the funding provided under Title V, which provides over $40 million a year for abstinence-only education programs across the US, according to the Reproductive Health Reality Check.
State representative Mary Mascher, a proponent of rejecting Title V funding, said, "One of the things that I think is critical in anything we do with kids is being honest and accurate. If we expect credibility, I think it is extremely important that information we give them be scientifically and medically accurate." Last year, Rep. Mascher sponsored a bill that was later passed into law that required sex-education in Iowa to be medically and scientifically based. However, the bill did not put an end to abstinence-only funding in the state.
Rhonda Chittenden, executive director of an adolescent pregnancy prevention program in Iowa called FutureNet, said, "Iowa must end this poor fiscal and public health policy now. There is no reliable evidence to date that these abstinence-only programs impact the long-term behavioral outcomes at which they aim, such as the delay of sexual initiation and reduction of adolescent pregnancies and STI/HIV infections."
Media Resources: Reproductive Health Reality Check 02/29/08; Radio Iowa 02/29/08; Iowa Independent 02/27/08; Feminist Daily Newswire