Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Action Alert: Contact Your U.S. Senator to Reinstate Abstinence Funding

Senator Hatch (R-UT) has introduced an amendment into the Senate health care reform bill to reinstate Title V Abstinence Education funding for FY2010. This amendment will be offered this week in the Senate Finance Committee. (The vote could be anytime this week.)

Title V state block grants for abstinence education expired June 30, 2009. Since then, two actions in the House have been taken related to this funding:

1. Rep. Lee Terry introduced an amendment in the House to reinstate Title V Abstinence Education Funding. It failed by only 3 votes in anti-abstinence Henry Waxman's Energy & Commerce Committee earlier this year.

2. An amendment was successfully inserted in the House health care reform bill to transfer former Title V funds to "comprehensive" sex education block grants to states. Recent research analysis demonstrates that school based abstinence education is more successful in positive behavior change than so-called "comprehensive" sex education.

Action Item: Call your Senators immediately. Ask them to vote "yes" on the Hatch Amendment if they serve on the Finance Committee. If your senator is not on the committee, ask them to support the amendment and urge their colleagues on the committee to vote for it. Ask your friends and colleagues to immediately call their Senators as well. The United States Capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121; a switchboard operator will connect you directly to your Senators' Offices. If you need to look up your senator's name, click here or visit www.senate.gov.

What to Say To Your Congressional Member: I am calling to urge Senator [name] to stand with youth in our state by voting "yes" on Senator Hatch's amendment to continue Title V abstinence education funding to states. This amendment will be offered as a part of the Senate health care reform bill. Abstinence alleviates millions of dollars in health care costs related to teen sexual activity. Can we count on Senator [name] support of the Hatch Abstinence Education amendment? Thank you.

Members of the Senate Finance Committee
Democrats MAX BAUCUS, MT
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, WV
KENT CONRAD, ND
JEFF BINGAMAN, NM
JOHN F. KERRY, MA
BLANCHE L. LINCOLN, AR
RON WYDEN, OR CHARLES E. SCHUMER, NY
DEBBIE STABENOW, MI
MARIA CANTWELL, WA
BILL NELSON, FL
ROBERT MENENDEZ, NJ
THOMAS CARPER, DE

Republicans
CHUCK GRASSLEY, IA
ORRIN G. HATCH, UT
OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, ME
JON KYL, AZ
JIM BUNNING, KY
MIKE CRAPO, ID
PAT ROBERTS, KS
JOHN ENSIGN, NV
MIKE ENZI, WY
JOHN CORNYN, TX

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