At-Risk Youth Get Sex Ed and Abstinence Message With the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act has not only made it more affordable for women to access preventative reproductive health care, it has made it possible for juveniles in South Dakota to have access to the scientific information necessary to make informed decisions about sex.  That’s because federal funding will once again provide juveniles in detention facilities and foster care with access to sex education instead of the abstinence-only information previously available.

The ACA preserves some funding for abstinence-only instruction, but it also creates the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), which requires grant-recipient agencies to educate children on both abstinence and contraception.

South Dakota is not alone in receiving federal funding to teach sex education to troubled and at-risk youth.  Forty-three states and territories are sharing $45.2 million in PREP grants from the federal government’s 2010 budgets.  That’s in addition to the 29 states and territories that have received $33.4 million in Title V abstinence education grants.

The shift away from abstinence-only sex education is a crucial and important one in making sure our public health initiatives are founded on both qualitative and quantitative scientific information rather than religious dogma.  Abstinence-only programs are a proven failure and it is long past time for our health policy move beyond them.

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Photo from robertelyov via flickr.


Nimue Pendragon

Sounds like a plan :)

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for article.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for article.

Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

Good. This is the type of outreach that is needed. It's a combo of sex ed AND abstinence.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams6 years ago

Girls need to be taught--"if he loved you he would wait until he has a good enough job to support a wife and two children and then ask you to marry him." Boys need to be taught to wait until they can afford a wife and two children and marry her. Both sexes also need to be taught the basic biology of sex. And they need the contact information where they can get help with contraception if they are too alienated to wait just because those in authority say so.

jennifer curtis
jennifer curtis6 years ago

i think it is awesome teens at risk of having sex at an early age are taught that waiting to have sex is the best way.

Tony C.
Tony C6 years ago

A class in RESPECT AND RESPONSIBILITY should be taught from Grade one to graduation, children should be taught that anything is permissible as long as it does not hurt themselves or anybody else. Common sense would dictate that if children are taught at a very early age that every child has their own strengths and weaknesses and that they should use their strengths to help not tease or bully others.
Later on Sex Education should be taught from Contraceptives, Masturbation,LGBT and all forms of sex. Let us face it whether we like it or not children are curious and are having sex earlier and earlier. They should be taught the joys and the consequences of having sex ( Pregnancy,STD, AIDS ) But you say when will this be taught. Cut out Geography or History early on then put it back in and remove Geometry and Algebra. They can learn this in college if need be. I believe this is a solution. Nipping it in the Bud so that Bullying, Sexual Assault, and many others will be greatly diminished if not eradicated. It is my belief that when children graduate with these principals where they are taught RESPECT for themselves and others and to take RESPONSIBILITY for their actions. Within a few generations this world would be a much better place to live in.

Lindy E.
Belinda E6 years ago

Can't we teach them that abstinance is the best course, for many reasons, but at the same time teach them how babies are made and how not to make a baby if you do have sex?

To expect all teenagers to practice abstinance because the system tells them to, presupposes that the teens trust the system and share its values. Otherwise, they're going to look to other role models for guidance - and if you haven't taught them about birth control, who are they going to learn it from?

Abstinance may be the ideal way to achieve the objective, but the objective is to reduce teen pregnancies. Better birth control than abortion, and better early-term abortion than unwanted babies raised by uneducated, no-future welfare moms. (Don't believe in abortion? How many "unadoptable" children have you taken into your home to raise?)

Jamie J.
Jamie J6 years ago

This strikes me as a very good idea, especially for the troubled teens who might think that sex is one way to ease their miseries, or some such thing.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton6 years ago

Sarah Palin told her daughter to be abstinate. Where did that get her?