Healthy Respect Media Release

Act Now for Our Children's Future

7/3/09 -- For one co-ed, classroom lessons apply to real life situations

While debates over national health care have grabbed the headlines, few have noticed a major shift in health policy for our children's classrooms.

With little fanfare, Congress has voted to squash funding for abstinence education programs that in recent years have shown so much success for our nation's students. This means that unless we fight for a change only those abstinence programs with adequate private funding will continue to provide the positive, character-based education to young people when they need it most.

In addition, Congress failed to renew the very definition of abstinence education that has guided public programs in recent years. In effect, as far as the federal government is concerned, the whole concept of abstinence education for our children no longer exists.

Now is the time to take action, says Dr. Nanci Coppola, Executive Director of Healthy Respect, which provides life-affirming abstinence until marriage education to students in some of New York's most needy neighborhoods.

"Abstinence programs have always operated on a tight budget, and now a major source of funding may be cut off by Washington politicians who have little understanding of the lives of the young people we deal with everyday," Dr. Coppola said. "This is an opportunity for everyone who believes in the future of our children to stand up and be heard on this important health issue."

Contact your congressional representative and say that you think abstinence education should be a part of our national effort to combat teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Tell our lawmakers that abstinence education programs build character and give young people the skills they need to set goals and achieve success in the classroom and beyond.

Phone the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. They can connect you directly to your two Senators' Offices . Do it today, for the sake of our nation's children, who are the future.