Abstinence outside of marriage has long been U.S. social conservatives’ battle cry. Now their allies in Congress and the Trump administration are moving aggressively to reshape policy accordingly, whether it’s by cancelling evidence-based adolescent pregnancy prevention efforts or rebranding discredited abstinence-only programs.
These policy shifts away from evidence and toward an ideological agenda would mean fewer federal dollars available for programs that can support sex health education. Not only would this restrict information about contraception, but would also prevent education and skill-building around healthy relationships, communication, consent, and dispelling gender stereotypes that are critical to addressing sexual violence and harassment as elevated by the #MeToo movement. Young people deserve better.
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