FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement of the National Partnership for Women & Families
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
WASHINGTON, DC — April 23, 2008 — “The National Partnership for Women & Families is pleased to submit a statement for
today’s hearing in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, "Domestic
Abstinence-Only Programs: Assessing the Evidence." Our statement highlights a few of the
reasons — practical, public health, and ethical — to question continuing the public investment in ideologically driven abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. These programs promote
abstinence from sexual activity, often providing incomplete and/or misleading information about
contraception and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). They also prescribe unrealistic,
marriage-focused goals that run counter to the life choices of virtually all Americans.
Certainly, the National Partnership recognizes that abstinence, especially for young teens,
is the healthiest choice. We strongly support encouraging teens to postpone sexual activity and
we know that parents, health care providers, and other responsible adults have critical roles to
play in instilling values and educating children and teens about sexual development and
responsible behavior and decision-making.
At the same time, it is critical that Congress acknowledge the growing body of evidence
that confirms that abstinence-only programs are not effective at delaying sexual initiation,
preventing unwanted pregnancy, or reducing STIs. More »
The National Partnership is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting access to quality health care, fairness in the workplace, and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.