HHS Pushes Abstinence in New Teen Pregnancy Prevention Guidance

An unnamed 18-year-old teenager, who is eight months pregnant, rests outside her room at the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women in Bangkok March 7, 2013.REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

The federal government has released new guidelines for receiving funding for teen pregnancy prevention programs, which requires providers to emphasize teen sex as a risk behavior to avoid and help teens having sex move away from it altogether.

Amid steadily dropping birth rates, the Department of Health and Human Services said Friday that the agency would be accepting applications for funding for sexual risk avoidance and sexual risk reduction programs, sometimes known as abstinence education.

Mary Anne Mosack, executive director with Ascend, a Washington D.C.-based sexual risk avoidance advocacy group, explained in a Monday interview with The Christian Post that the HHS announcement is a “marked shift” from the approach taken during the previous administration.

Recent data from Centers for Disease Control reveals that teenagers are in fact having less sex than they did 25 years ago, she noted.

“Since 1991 we have had a 28 percent increase in the number of high school students waiting for sex,” Mosack explained, a positive trend she believes is important to reinforce with good policy.

“And, study findings also show that students in an SRA class are no less likely to use a condom if they do become sexually active. Many people erroneously believe that SRA programs do not share information on condoms and birth control. This is simply not true.”

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Source: Christian Post