News & Updates

President Biden Highlights Several Important Sexual and Reproductive Health Priorities in his FY25 Budget Request

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 12th, 2024

Contact: Michelle Slaybaugh

mslaybaugh@siecus.org

 

WASHINGTON, DC., March 12th, 2024 – Last week in his State of the Union address and this week in his official FY2025 budget request, SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change was pleased to see President Biden highlight several important sexual and reproductive health priorities. As we face increasing attacks on reproductive rights, sex education, and censorship, we hope that President Biden’s prioritization of these issues signals policy progress on these crucial issues. 

The proposed Budget protected critical funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) and the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH). TPPP was established in 2010 to support community-driven, evidence-based or informed, medically accurate, and age-appropriate approaches to preventing pregnancy among adolescents, involving parents, educators, researchers, and providers. The TPP Program exemplifies evidence-based policymaking, a results-oriented approach with bipartisan support and recognition from a wide range of experts, including the bipartisan Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking. As the House of Representatives has proposed to eliminate the program in the FY2024 appropriations cycle, we are grateful to President Biden for his continued support of TPPP. 

We were thrilled to see DASH funding not only preserved but expanded. President Biden has proposed an increase of $19 million over the enacted FY2023 levels for DASH – a significant increase that would allow the program to reach more young people to provide school-based HIV and STI prevention programs in schools, integrating substance use prevention, violence prevention, and other public health approaches. The work within DASH expands the research and evidence base of how to best meet the needs of young people, including LGBTQIA+ youth, youth of color, and disabled youth. DASH is an incredibly efficient and cost-effective program – reaching 2 million young people at less than $10 per student. 

President Biden also proposed to defund the Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) competitive grant program. SRA programs, also known as abstinence-only-until-marriage, withhold necessary and lifesaving information that allows young people to make informed and responsible decisions about their own health. These programs have been found to include content that reinforces gender stereotypes, ostracizes and denigrates LGBTQIA+ youth, stigmatizes sexually active young people and pregnant or parenting youth, and fails to respect the needs of youth who have experienced sexual abuse or assault. This grant program not only undermines the work of DASH and TPPP, but wastes valuable funding on a program with no evidence base. 

The Budget also included $390 million, a 36-percent increase above the 2023 enacted level, for the Title X Family Planning program to increase the number of patients served to 3.6 million. Title X family planning clinics have played a critical role in ensuring access to a broad range of family planning and preventive reproductive health services. In a post-Dobbs America, ensuring the continuation of these services is more important than ever. 

We were also appreciative of President Biden’s renewed commitment to ending gender-based violence. Federal enforcement of the Violence Against Women Act was called out in the State of the Union address and was followed by the Administration’s funding proposal of $800 million. This is a $100 million or 14-percent increase over the 2023 enacted level, the highest funding level in history. 

In addition to protecting funding for essential programs, we were excited to see a new Department of Justice program highlighted through a provision for $10 million to modernize outdated criminal statutes with a discriminatory impact on HIV-positive individuals. This program would be an incredible first step towards reducing stigma against HIV-positive individuals. 

As the FY2024 funding cycle concludes and the FY2025 process continues, we are hopeful that the President’s funding priorities are realized. Transformative funding for these transformative programs has the ability to inform and empower the next generation – and we can’t imagine a better return on investment than that. 

 

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ABOUT SIECUS:

SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change has served as the national voice for sex education since 1964, asserting that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. Through policy, advocacy, education, and strategic communications efforts, SIECUS advances sex education as a vehicle for social change—working toward a world where all people can access and enjoy sexual and reproductive freedom as they define it for themselves.
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