Sex abstinence program among Obama's targeted cuts
By Jennifer Liberto @jenlibertoMarch 5, 2014: 8:13 AM ET
President Obama wants to ax funding for abstinence from sex education.
By cutting the abstinence grant, the country would save $5 million. It's among a list of "wasteful spending" that the President would slash if he gets his way on the budget.
Other more impressive cuts include wiping out ground combat vehicles, which saves $51 million. Trimming subsidies for poor families to heat their homes would save another $625 million.
In his latest budget, the President proposed 136 cuts, yielding $17 billion in savings. It was the fewest number of cuts proposed since he first took office in 2009. By contrast, Obama pledged 215 cuts with $25 billion in savings just last year.
Take the abstinence-only sex education, a hallmark of the Bush administration. In 2007, researchers who followed 2000 children over 10 years concluded that abstinence-only programs don't keep teenagers from having sex. The study was mandated by Congress for the U.S. Administration for Children and Families.
President Obama had eliminated funding for abstinence-only programs in his 2010 budget. But Congress restored some of the funding, most recently in its latest budget deal. More than $175 million is spent on other sex education programs.
"Taxpayers want to know: Is my money going to something that's making a difference," said Bill Albert, chief program officer for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. "In the grand scheme of things, $5 million doesn't amount to a hill of beans, but on the other hand, abstinence-only is not a program based on science."
House Republicans say scrubbing spending is key to easing federal deficits. They have passed several proposed budgets over the past few years that drastically slash all kinds of spending but those have failed to clear the Democrat-controlled Senate.