IFAS | Freedom Writer | November 1998 | funds.html

Congress investigates use of abstinence funds

Washington, DC Congressional leaders are moving to insure that funds distributed to states under a 1996 welfare-reform law are being used for their intended purpose: to teach teens the importance of abstinence until marriage.

The House Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held hearings in September to examine whether states have followed congressional intent, and didn't like what they found.

In some states, federal money has been sent to programs that water down the abstinence message mixing it with contraceptive promotion or to totally unrelated programs, such as youth sports. Further, Clinton administration officials appear to be at least partly to blame for the misallocations, and some even may be sabotaging the program.

"This [hearing] is the first step toward making sure true abstinence is taught," said Peter Brandt of the National Coalition for Abstinence Education. "I think Congress will take many more." (From the Pastor's Weekly Briefing, October 2, 1998.)

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.