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Action Alert: Sex Ed Month of Action!

October 28, 2009

In September, the Senate Finance Committee voted to spend $50 million on a curriculum that we know doesn’t work, that leaves our students unprepared to make healthful decisions about their own bodies, and that is ineffective at preventing sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy, and sexual violence. $50 million for abstinence-only education. Not okay, Orrin Hatch.

And not okay, U.S. Senate.

Advocates for Youth, in conjunction with a bunch of other awesome groups, are reminding us to call our senators and make it absolutely clear that we demand accurate, inclusive, comprehensive, responsible information for our young people (and not-so-young people!) about sex, relationships, anatomy, and health.

Advocates’ email is below the fold.

OH! And if you’ve never called a Member of Congress before, as someone who has done so approximately eleventybizillion times, I promise: it’s not scary AT ALL! Basically, you call, talk to (probably) an intern, say your bit, they’ll get some information from you, and then you hang up. Easy peasy. I’ve never been challenged or questioned, or experienced any rudeness. This is important! YOU CAN DO IT!

Hey everyone,

As the Sex Ed Month of Action comes to a close, we have one more opportunity for you to make your voice heard!

As the Senate Finance Committee finalized it’s health care reform bill, Senator Orrin Hatch added $50 million in funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs!! President Obama nixed funding for these programs in his proposed budget – yet now we’re fighting to keep Congress from reinstating the program through health care reform.

It’s ridiculous, right?

So let’s make sure that the Senate does the right thing and removes abstinence-only program funding from the final health care reform bill!

Join activists from Advocates for Youth, Catholics for Choice, Choice USA, SIECUS and Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom and call your Senators NOW. Tell them to keep these dangerous and ineffective programs out of the health care bill! End abstinence-only funding now!

Dial (202) 224-3121 and tell the operator you want to speak with your Senators. In case you don’t remember who they are, you can find them here.

If you are unsure what to say, we’ve drafted a script below, but feel free to add your personal story based on the education you did or did not receive in school.


Hi. My name is ________________. May I please speak with the Senator’s lead aide on health? I am calling to talk about removing the Hatch abstinence-only amendment from the Health Care Reform bill.


Hi. My name is ___________ and I am calling from ___________. The Senate Finance Committee recently passed the Hatch abstinence-only amendment to Health Care Reform– reinstating $50 million in funding for failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Congress should not put any more money into these failed abstinence-only programs that leave young people at risk. Congress should instead fund comprehensive sex education. As a constituent of the Senator, I urge the Senator to work to remove the Hatch abstinence-only-until-marriage amendment from the final Health Care Reform bill.

If you’d like to use some other facts or talking points as well, we’ve attached some here:

  • Health Care Reform is a critically important task for this Congress and it should not be hijacked by ideologically motivated earmarks.
  • The Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program expired on June 30th and, at that time, had been refused by nearly half of the states both because of the restrictive nature of the program and the fact that overwhelming evidence has proven these programs to be ineffective and a waste of taxpayer dollars.
  • The federal government’s own study of the Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program found these programs to be completely ineffective at their stated goals.
  • Moreover, study after study has shown that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs have no effect whatsoever.
  • It is time for the federal government to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on these failed programs.
  • I stand with the millions of Americans who support teaching both abstinence and contraception. Nationwide polls show that eight-in-ten voters want young people to receive a comprehensive approach to sex education that includes teaching about both abstinence and contraception.

Once you’ve called your Senators, be sure tell your friends by posting on Facebook and Twitter (#sexedcallday)!

The time to take action is NOW. These ineffective abstinence-only programs have been around for far too long. Don’t let the health care debate be a platform for programs that don’t work.

Call you Senators now!


Sarah Audelo
Program Manager, Youth Activist Network
Advocates for Youth

PS – Don’t forget to sign our online petition to get comprehensive sex education into our schools!

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