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Let the Budgeting Begin: Why Obama’s Version Makes Me Smile

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March 6, 2014

We had some good news out of the White House recently — President Obama just released his version of the budget this week and in it he gives some major attention (and money) to comprehensive sex education!

I’m especially excited about President Obama’s five-year re-authorization and maintenance of funding for the Personal Responsibility Education Program, an education initiative for young people to help prevent unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, specifically for youth who are homeless, in foster care, or who come from areas with high levels of teen pregnancy, including youth of color.  He also proposes increases in funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative, which helps to prevent unintended pregnancies in teens and support teen parents in communities around the country. 

And, for the first time since 2010, the President’s version of the budget cuts all funding to abstinence only education! He eliminates funding for the Competitive Abstinence Education grant program and does not attempt to reauthorize Title V grants for Abstinence only education.

This all makes me so happy because comprehensive sex education is more than something that young people want, it’s something that we need.  Without organized, accurate, LGBT-friendly, and thorough sex-ed, young people are left in the dark about the ways to a healthy, happy sex life, which can lead to the spread of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies.  It is essential that in order to prepare young people for the world around them that we provide the kind of sex-education they need to flourish.  Young people deserve well-prepared sex education and supporting programs that support young people is vital.

And while this isn’t anywhere close to the finalized version of the budget (Congress actually gets to determine what the final version looks like) it is a symbolic gesture of the president’s dedication to comprehensive sex-ed and all the benefits that brings to young people in the United States as well as a starting point for Congress to begin negotiations.

And that is enough to make me smile. 🙂

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