Obama Administration Tacitly Supports Abstinence-Only Curriculum

Abstinence-only education does not work, and is actually dangerous to women’s health. It prevents honest conversation about women’s reproductive health needs and keeps young women from getting information that could save their lives. And yet, without any notification by the Obama Administration, an abstinence-only curriculum was recently added to the pregnancy prevention program list endorsed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The program, entitled “Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education,” made it onto the “evidence-based” list some time this month, according to RH Reality Check. And in fact, it’s not a new program at all:

[O]ne of the “new” programs is actually an old, dis-proven and dangerous abstinence-only-until-marriage program.[…]

Perhaps the Administration realized that the inclusion of Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education on this select list would call into question its commitment to young people and their sexual health. Once again, they have succumbed to the political pressure of social conservatives and allowed the ideology of the right to prevail over the health and well-being of the nation’s youth. The Obama Administration’s endorsement of this abstinence-only-until marriage program runs in direct contradiction to its stated commitment to the health and well-being of young people and, quite possibly, its promise to uphold science and evidence.

There have been many studies that prove abstinence-only education to be ineffective. In states that teach abstinence-only curricula, teen pregnancies are higher. One study found that teenagers who receive some type of comprehensive sex education are 60 percent less likely to get pregnant or get someone else pregnant. The Administration’s endorsement of this program is really tacit support for a completely ineffectual program that is bad for women.