On May 21, Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) Project 535 volunteers met with members of Congress to lobby for the reauthorization of Title V abstinence education funding. The 535 volunteers were briefed beforehand by National Abstinence Education Association Executive Director Valerie Huber and Reach America Executive Director Caroline Baird.
Valerie and Caroline presented the most important points of the abstinence message to be relayed to the staffers with whom volunteers would meet. Our volunteers learned that Title V is only one of the funding streams for abstinence education. They were also presented with the alarming health statistics regarding teens and sexual activity. Valerie stated that only two out of four of the most common STDs can be prevented using a condom and that the only way to protect teens is to send them the message that they should abstain from all forms of risky sexual behaviors.
In past years, Title V has been coupled with Transitional Medical Assistance. Both are set to expire at the end of June 2008. Numerous recent studies have evidenced the effectiveness of abstinence education programs and the need for continued funding of such programs (see, for example, “Exposing Failed Radical Theories and Policies” “The Red Light Special,” and “Tick, Tock! Time is Running Out for Title V!”
Title V abstinence education funding expires June 30. Through the use of temporary extensions and other means, such as hearings, liberal members of Congress have sought to discredit the effectiveness and legitimacy of abstinence education programs and hope to effectively kill abstinence education funding.
Emboldened and equipped with the right information to educate members of Congress on the effectiveness of abstinence education programs, our Project 535 ladies met with members of Congress and were able to effectively communicate that abstinence education programs are more than just relaying a message of “just say ‘no’ to sex” and let them know that these programs are invaluable to the overall health and well-being of teenagers.
The value of communicating to members of Congress the importance of giving youth the skills to abstain from sex can not be underestimated.
Call your Representative and Senators and urge them to fully reauthorize Title V abstinence education before it expires this June! Capitol Switchboard: (202) 225-3121. Find your Member of Congress here.