The Bush administration spent more than $1 billion of taxpayer money on ineffective "abstinence-only" programs that censored information about birth control.
The legacy of those programs is a teen health crisis: one in four American girls has a sexually transmitted disease and the teen birth rate is up in 26 states.
The Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act would establish the first-ever federal sex-education program. Unlike Bush's "abstinence-only" programs that censor, mislead and misinform teens, responsible sex education teaches young people about both abstinence and contraception and prevents unintended pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
The health of our teens depends on getting them accurate, age-appropriate sex-education information -- act today.
Federal funding of "abstinence-only" programs is a waste of taxpayer dollars and has contributed to - not lessened - a public-health crisis in which one in four teenage girls has a sexually transmitted infection.
Responsible sex-education programs, on the other hand, emphasize abstinence and contraception. Research shows that these programs delay initiation of sex, reduce its frequency and improve contraceptive use among teens. Leading experts universally endorse realistic, medically accurate, age-appropriate sex-education programs, not the failed "abstinence-only" approach.
The REAL Act would correct this egregious imbalance in federal policy by funding medically accurate sex education, instead of disproven and misleading "abstinence-only" programs. As your constituent, I strongly urge you to co-sponsor this legislation to ensure comprehensive sex education for young people.
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