Abstinence funding disappears; finger pointing emerges

Abstinence funding disappears; finger pointing emerges

Abstinence funding disappears; finger pointing emerges

The abstinence-until-marriage program for Ohio schools suddenly finds itself in jeopardy after Republicans in the state legislature failed to provide funding in the upcoming budget.

In 2021, the state of Ohio revised its code requirements, stating that:

"Instruction in venereal disease education pursuant to division (A)(5)(c) of Section 3313.60 of the Revised Code shall emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is one hundred percent effective against unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, and the sexual transmission of a virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome."

This code was revised to help inform children of the consequences of sexual activity outside of marriage, including physical, psychological, and emotional distress, sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy and the responsibilities that come with it.

However, many school districts have ignored the revised code and continue to allow pro-abortion lessons to be taught. In fact, Planned Parenthood – the largest abortion-provider in the U.S. – has implemented a program called "Get Real" in middle schools throughout the capital city of Columbus.

Although the two-year budget was passed this past legislative session, the abstinence program saw a massive cut in funding. In an interview with AFN, Linda Harvey of Mission: America says each side is blaming the other for letting the funding fall through the cracks.

Harvey, Linda (Mission: America) Harvey

"I'm not sure at all how this got dropped. There's just a lot of questions, whether there was some kind of deal behind the scenes with the very aggressive Democrat minority – there is that out there as one possibility. But it may simply be an oversight," she offers.

Harvey argues in a related article that the program should have seen a sizeable increase in funds:

"Not only should abstinence have been funded at the levels of previous years, these efforts should be granted a sizeable increase," she wrote. "The forces of Planned Parenthood and the 'LGBTQ' sexual radicals desperate to get in front of our children (the earlier the better) need to be stopped in their tracks."

With the drastic decrease in funding, she fears Planned Parenthood stands ready to fill the void.

"We need to make sure that there's not an open door for more of those kinds of programs," she tells AFN, "and we need to give abstinence funding what is deserved to serve the students who are not going to hear this message."

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has discretionary funding for the restructuring of the Department of Education, and Harvey is hopeful he will apply some of that for abstinence education.

At least $3 million needs to be allocated to this program per year. Harvey group is encouraging Ohio residents to call their legislators, and urge them to stand up for what is right and necessary.