To the editor:
I applaud Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Roderick Bremby’s Aug. 29 decision to reject federal Title V, Section 510 funding for abstinence-only sex education programs. Bremby cited the April 2007 federally funded study of four abstinence-only programs by Mathematica Policy Research Inc. as one of the reasons for the rejection. This study found that “youth who participated in the program were no more likely to abstain from sexual activity than those who did not. … Youth who participated in the program and those who did not had similar numbers of sexual partners and initiated sex at about the same average age.”
This rejection places Kansas with the majority of states who have decided to stop wasting taxpayer money on these ineffective and irresponsible programs that fail to provide young people with the medically accurate and potentially life-saving information that they deserve. The United States taxpayers have spent more than $1.5 billion on these programs to date. Secretary Bremby’s decision is a small step in the right direction. I look forward to seeing more public officials follow in his footsteps.