Title X Marks the Spot for Senate GOP
Liberals are usually the ones who like to throw money at ineffective programs. That philosophy certainly helps explain the teen pregnancy “prevention” money pit Americans have been financing for the last eight years.
Despite the success of President George Bush’s abstinence programs, Barack Obama walked into the Oval Office and almost immediately zeroed out sexual risk avoidance grants. Instead, he decided to use the money to pad Planned Parenthood’s bottom line by $10 million through even more Title X funding. (Not so coincidentally, $10 million is the exact amount Planned Parenthood pledged to help get President Obama elected.)
Two terms (and who knows how many teen pregnancies and STDs later), even Obama’s own government admitted his approach to sex ed was a disaster. The “if-it-feels-good-do-it-with-a-condom” and “if-that-fails-get-an-abortion” strategy flopped — as conservatives knew it would. As the Wall Street Journal’s editors explain in an op-ed this week, “The Obama administration last year evaluated 18 programs that replicated allegedly tested approaches: three yielded mixed results, and 11 had no lasting effect on behavior. Three had a negative effect, meaning they increased the likelihood of teens engaging in sex or becoming pregnant, which takes some doing in the current culture. A single curriculum showed positive results, but a second study then showed no discernible effect. Supporters insist results will improve over time, and it’s hard to imagine they could get worse.”
But Donald Trump’s predecessor was always more concerned about his political health than teenagers’. His programs were designed to reward allies like Planned Parenthood, who took home an impressive wad of the Title X cash — and were guaranteed even more with the abortion referral requirement that was part of Obama’s family planning curriculum.
When Donald Trump took office, one of the first things he did was announce, on a one-page budget blueprint, the elimination of $101 million in teen pregnancy prevention funds. Republicans in the House made that vision a reality in their appropriations bills, slashing the bulk of Obama’s boondoggle and restoring the money to sexual risk avoidance programs that the CDC admits are the most effective. “The feds don’t need to spend $200 million on a failed sex-ed program,” the Wall Street Journal argued.
We agree. So why are Senate Republicans trying to reinstate more than $100 million in Obama’s failed teen pregnancy programs? (Programs, incidentally, that directly fund Planned Parenthood.) Republicans in the Senate know better than anyone that Title X family planning funding has always been a major slush fund for Cecile Richards’s group, which uses the money to groom future abortion customers — not stop out-of-wedlock births. Join us in calling on the Senate leadership to follow the House’s lead and put taxpayers’ money back into what works (and what parents of both parties want): abstinence.
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