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SIECUS Applauds New York’s Refusal of Title V Funding

New York, NY – Yesterday, State Health Commissioner Dr. Richard F. Daines announced that New York will reject Title V federal funding for abstinence-only programs for the coming fiscal year.  New York joins several other states that have already made decisions to refuse Title V funds.

“Governor Spitzer’s decision to end state funding for abstinence-only programs and to stop accepting overly restrictive money from the federal government shows his commitment to the young people of New York,” said William Smith, vice president of public policy at the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS).

In fiscal year 2006, New York received more than $10.5 million in federal funding for abstinence-only-until marriage programs, including more than $3.5 million in Title V funds.  Title V funds have gone to such programs as Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network of SCNY, Inc. whose “Worth the Wait Project” provides school-based and community presentations. Its Worth the Wait abstinence-only curriculum relies on messages of fear, discourages contraceptive use, and promotes biased views of gender, marriage, and pregnancy options. For example, the curriculum claims that “teenage sexual activity can create a multitude of medical, legal, and economic problems not only for the individuals having sex but for society as a whole.”

“Title V has provided funding for fear-based, medically inaccurate programs for too long, in New York and across the country.  Refusing Title V money sends a strong message that we demand more and better education,” continued Smith.

Currently there is no federal funding stream dedicated to comprehensive sexuality education programs.  Since 1982, however, the U.S. government has spent over $1.5 billion on unproven abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.  Of that money, over $800 million has been spent during the current administration.  Under the leadership of President Bush there has been a continued expansion of investment in these programs with more than $175 million allocated in Fiscal Year 2007 alone.  These programs are prohibited from discussing contraceptives except in the context of failure rates and have never been proven effective. 

“The recent decisions, from states all across the country, to reject Title V money and concentrate on comprehensive sexuality education, show that there is a shift toward doing what is right from a health and wellness perspective.  Congress should act now by stopping all funding for Bush’s billion dollar boondoggle and pass the Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act, which would fund programs that actually help young people abstain and protect themselves when they do have sex,” concluded Smith.

For more information contact Patrick Malone at (212)819-9770 ext. 316 or  To view the full SIECUS State Profile for New York visit http://www.siecus.local/policy/states/2006/mandates/NY.html.