Abstinence-Only Education Funding In Health Reform Bill To Please Republicans

The House health care reform bill restricts abortions to get conservative votes. Now it turns out that conservatives also got something slipped into the Senate bill–funding for abstinence-only programs. From The Gaggle:

Their provision would restore a program called Title V, which, since the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, has allocated a yearly $50 million in grants to abstinence-only education programs. Obama let the program lapse in June, leaving some abstinence-only groups in dire straits. So in September, Sen. Orrin Hatch offered an amendment to restore Title V via heath-care reform, which (much to the outrage of liberal groups) just squeaked through the Senate Finance Committee with a 12–11 vote. A similar amendment, offered in the House by Rep. Terry Lee from Nebraska, died in committee.

If the Senate language survives reconciliation, the Title V program will be extended through 2014. This will not, however, bring abstinence funding back to the levels of the past decade. In 2008, Title V grants accounted for just under 25 percent of the federal abstinence budget (the rest of the budget came from other abstinence-only funding sources not restored in the Senate bill, including Community Based Abstinence Education Grants and the Adolescent Family Life Act).

How do Republicans, who claim to be fiscal conservatives, justify spending money for abstinence-only programs when such programs have repeatedly been proven to be ineffective? What is the point of offering Republicans such compromises when they won’t vote for the final bill regardless of what is in it?

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