Senate Finance Committee Healthcare Bill

October 15, 2009

On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee finally voted their version of the health care bill out of committee. Interestingly, the final bill as amended includes two separate provisions related to sex education, one that allocates funds to abstinence only programs, and another that allocates the same amount to comprehensive, means-tested sex education programs. Here are the provisions as they appear in the bill:

Abstinence Education. The Chairman‘s Mark would appropriate $50 million a year through FY 2014 for abstinence education. The Mark would also appropriate $75 million each year for fiscal years FY2010 through FY2014 for a Personal Responsibility Education for Adulthood Training.

Teen Pregnancy Prevention. Of the annual amount [of $1.5 Billion provided in this section] , $50 million would be available to states each year on a formula basis for programs to educate adolescents on both abstinence and contraception for prevention of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. Programs must be evidence-based, medically accurate, and age appropriate and must address at least three adulthood preparation subjects. Subjects include: healthy relationships, adolescent development, financial literacy; parent-child communication, educational and career success, and healthy life skills.

Hopefully the final bill in the Senate reconcile these two provisions into one that will provide strong funding for comprehensive, evidence-based sex educations programs across the United States.

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