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Understanding the Facts Behind Sanford’s Veto # 30

June 3, 2008

Understanding the Facts Behind Sanford’s Veto # 30
Turning the tide on the Governor’s elimination of
“Abstinence Education” from the budget.

Joshua Gross, former director of the South Carolina Club for Growth, calls for reinstatement of abstinence education funding…

“…there are two vetoes that I disagree with this year, and would urge my friends in the House, even my fellow fiscal conservatives, to override these two particular vetoes…The first involved funding for I-73…The other issue is one of abstinence education, where $1.2 million in funding for abstinence education and teen pregnancy prevention was cut.  These programs, especially abstinence education, have effectively cut the teen pregnancy rate in South Carolina by 35% over the last ten years.  Last month, our friends over at the Palmetto Family Council noted a nationwide study that broke down the finan! cial impact of teen pregnancy and divorce in South Carolina.  This state spends $469 million a year in social programs, incarcerations and lost tax revenue because of fragmented families.  Of that, $227 million was for the Justice System alone.  Next to that, a prevention investment of $1.2 million seems like a very wise choice.  The parents of our school children agree – 80% of parents of parents surveyed by a USC research team stated that schools should emphasize abstinence ion their sex education classes. That seems like on e of the “priorities of South Carolinians” to me… It’s also one of the only conservative social education programs out there, a drop ! in the bucket next to the billions lost to the bureaucratic ab! yss of t he Department of Education.

“I do hope that the House and Senate will make the wise choice by restoring this funding.”  Joshua Gross

  • The SC Teen Pregnancy Rate has decreased by 35% since statewide abstinence education began in 1998.
  • In this year’s House version and Governor’s version of the budget, $600,000 existed for abstinence education and $600,000 existed for contraceptive based teen pregnancy prevention.
  • This year the Senate combined the funds and allocated all of them for teen pregnancy prevention (totaling $1.2 million)
  • Senators Larry Grooms and Linda Short, representing the views of both abstinence educators and teen pregnancy prevention advocates, created a proviso to assure that the funds would be evenly divided between abstinence education and teen pregnancy prevention, putting experienced statewide program providers under contract with DSS.
  • The Governor vetoed this proviso, in Veto #30 (eliminating the notion that the money could be evenly divided behind abstinence education and teen pregnancy prevention).
  • Heritage Community Services, a leading abstinence provider in South Carolina, has documented more than 100,000 evaluations statewide, which consistently indicate dramatic increases in support for abstinence among SC teens. This is reported in a peer-reviewed article published by the Office of Population Affairs and the Administration for Children and Family and reveals that a year after its program, students initiated sex at a rate half that of similar non-program students

Contact your State House Representative and Senator and tell
them to invest in programs that will help save the state millions of dollars in the long-run.
Tell them to override Veto #30.

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