General Articles

SIECUS Year End Appeal – Help Keep SIECUS Moving Forward!


December 2010
Dear Friend:
Today, “Two Steps Forward — One Step Back,” seems to sum up where we stand.
For the sexual and reproductive health movement, the past two years have been our most successful to date.  And the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) is responsible for much of the progress realized over this time. 
Just a few examples of our impact in 2010 follow below.
·         Two new federal funding streams supporting sexuality education and teen pregnancy prevention programs were implemented, totaling nearly $190 million in 2010. 
·         Federal support for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs was reduced by more than two-thirds in 2010. 
·         The Office of Adolescent Health was established under the Secretary of Health and Human Services, ensuring that adolescent health will be prioritized moving forward.
·         The first ever National HIV/AIDS Strategy, released in July 2010, called for education for all Americans about abstinence as well as ways to protect oneself if one is sexually active.
This was the year of culmination of so much of the work that SIECUS has put so much time and effort into over the past several years.  We accomplished more in 2010 than in any year in SIECUS’ history. 
And it is because of your support that we were able to achieve so much.
SIECUS has a 46-year history that is unparalleled.  We educate, we advocate, and we inform.   For over four decades we have been assisting educators, advocates, policymakers, parents, young people, school board members, and others by providing accurate up-to-date information, policy and program guidance, and educational and advocacy resources to help support and deliver comprehensive education programs about sexuality and sexual and reproductive health.
But now is not the time to rest on our laurels.  More federal and state policymakers who are anti-choice, anti-sexuality education, and pro-abstinence-only-until-marriage, were elected in November than at any one time in our nation’s historyNow is the time for action
We must train more educators (including teachers, social workers, guidance counselors, school nurses, and community program staff) to deliver comprehensive information about sexuality and sexual and reproductive health to young people. 
We must continue to strongly advocate with and educate policymakers to increase the federal investment in sexuality education programs. 
We must build on the momentum of our recent successes to finally end the federal funding of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. 
We must help educators and advocates in states and communities successfully fend off attempts by the abstinence-only-until-marriage and far-right movements to advance their agendas.
SIECUS believes that real change in how this nation approaches education about sexuality and sexual and reproductive health has begun, but that there are many things that still desperately need to be accomplished. 
Your support we will help us to fully realize this vision.
Please consider making as generous a gift to SIECUS as you can TODAY!  
There is no time to wait, as the far right continues to push its agenda, new representatives in Congress are prioritizing and strategizing to advance their ideals, and today’s young people cannot wait even one more day for the information and support they need to make healthy sexual and reproductive decisions.
With much appreciation and warm holiday wishes,
Monica Rodriguez
President and CEO
PS:    We know that for most people, the holidays are a time for family, friends, and creating happy memories.  But as I write to you, there are young people across this country struggling with their sexual identity, sexual orientation, an unplanned pregnancy, a sexually transmitted disease, or an HIV diagnosis.  It is imperative for SIECUS to help these young people through their teachers, their parents, their communities, their healthcare providers, and the policies that enable us to reach these influential audiences.  Only YOU can help us reach them!