SIECUS applauds efforts to reauthorize PREP, remains wary of administration’s lack of transparency
For Immediate Release
June 4, 2019
Contact: Zach Eisenstein
Phone: (202) 265-2405 ext 3330
(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester introduced the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) Reauthorization Act in an effort to extend the program for five years. Originally authorized under the Affordable Care Act, PREP was created to fund evidence-based sex education for marginalized youth.
Samantha Dercher, SIECUS’ Federal Policy Director, released the following statement in response:
“We are grateful that Congress is prioritizing the reauthorization of this vital program for five years. However, SIECUS remains concerned with the lack of transparency surrounding PREP–especially under the purview of the Trump administration.
In recent years, the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB), which administers PREP, has heavily emphasized a preference for abstinence-only programs–now called “Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA).” Decades of research show that these programs peddle misinformation and shame and stigmatize young people.
As outlined in the 2018 SIECUS State Profiles, FYSB continues to withhold information about which organizations are receiving federal funds and what curricula those grantees are using. And the Trump administration’s political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services have spent years attacking other evidence-based programs, like the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP), and illegally shifting program requirements to support abstinence-only “SRA” efforts.
While we continue to advocate for funding for PREP, we must ensure that the program’s integrity remains intact. And that includes its much-needed requirement that PREP programs be responsive to the needs of sexually active young people.
We must ensure that this administration does not twist such a vital program into another method for pushing its anti-science, ideologically-driven abstinence-only agenda. PREP was created to provide marginalized youth with the complete, medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education they deserve. And we will continue fighting to keep it that way.”
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) has served as the national voice for sex education, sexual health, and sexual rights for over 50 years. SIECUS asserts that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. We advocate for the rights of all people to accurate information, comprehensive sexuality education, and the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services. SIECUS works to create a world that ensures social justice inclusive of sexual and reproductive rights.