A group of more than 50 students involved in abstinence-only education programs around the country are descending on Capitol Hill to urge lawmakers to restore federal funding to their programs.
President Obama eliminated all federal funding for abstinence-only education after he took office, citing independent evaluations that found the programs didn't convince kids to delay sex and, in fact, lowered condom use among participants who did have sex. In a compromise measure, Congress restored $250 million over five years to abstinence education in last year's health care overhaul, but that is still a much smaller outlay than the programs received under President George W. Bush.
Sixteen-year-old Akila Copeland of Colorado is the president of her school's chapter of Friends First, an abstinence group that mentors middle-school girls. "We have felt the stress of the loss of money," Copeland told The Lookout. "We normally have scholarships for students to go to winter trips and we no longer have that."
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