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Sex Education

Planned Parenthood is working with the federal and state governments to ensure access to sex education programs that give young people the reliable, accurate information they need to make responsible decisions and stay healthy. 

Did You Know?

  • The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate among the world’s developed nations. 
  • According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than three million teen girls have a sexually transmitted infection. That's at least one in four
  • Half of sexually active young people in the U.S. will contract a sexually transmitted infection by age 25. 
  • Approximately 750,000 teenagers in the United States will become pregnant this year.

The new health care reform bill authorized $75 million in mandatory funding for teen pregnancy prevention. Most of this will go to states to support evidence-based, medically accurate, culturally appropriate sex education programs that address both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. This is on top of the $114.4 million for evidence-based, teen pregnancy prevention that President Obama and Congress are providing to community organizations and local governments this year.

Fifteen local Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country were selected by the Department of Health and Human Services to receive new grant funding as part of this Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative. The Planned Parenthood affiliates who have been awarded teen pregnancy prevention grants are: 

  • Planned Parenthood of New York City
  • Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando
  • Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, partners with: Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and Northern Idaho, Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, Planned Parenthood of Montana, Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon, and Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood
  • Planned Parenthood of the Texas Capital Region, subcontractor with Youth and Family Alliance dba Lifeworks
  • Planned Parenthood of Hawaii, subcontractor with Hawaii Youth Services Network and subcontractor with University of Hawaii
  • Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, subcontractor with University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, subcontractor with The Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy
  • Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, subcontractor with the University of Texas Health Science Center
  • Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, subcontractor with the City of Hartford
  • Planned Parenthood of Illinois, subcontractor with Chicago Public Schools, District #299

These Planned Parenthood affiliates will be replicating programs that have generated significant evidence that they reduce teen pregnancy by helping young people to either postpone sexual intercourse or use contraception when they do engage in intercourse.

Unfortunately, the health care reform bill also included a renewal of $50 million per year funding of Title V abstinence-only education for states until 2014. Planned Parenthood is continuing our work with our supporters, youth activists, and policymakers to put an end to this ineffective program. 

Learn More About Abstinence-Only Programs

A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION: PREP

PREP (Personal Responsibility Education Program) is the first state-grant program from the federal government that funds comprehensive sex education. PREP provides $55 million for states to fund evidence-based sex education programs that meet the needs of our country’s young people by teaching teens how to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, protect their health, make responsible decisions, and learn critical skills needed to form healthy relationships with parents, peers, and partners.

Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of comprehensive sex education in our communities. Each year, Planned Parenthood affiliates provide more than 1.2 million young people and parents with effective sex education in programs run by professional educators and youth peer educators. 

Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country look forward to working as partners with states to provide effective sex education for adolescents, so young people can have the information and skills they need to help them delay sexual activity and to protect themselves when they do become sexually active. 

Numerous medical and scientific organizations support comprehensive sexuality education, including: 

  • American Public Health Association
  • American Medical Association
  • Society for Adolescent Medicine
  • American Academy of Pediatrics

Public opinion also shows support for comprehensive sex education. A Peter D. Hart Research poll shows a majority of voters in nearly every demographic category, including Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, as well as Roman Catholics and Evangelical Christians, support comprehensive sex education.

GET YOURSELF TESTED

A critical component of sex education is to protect against the spread of STDs. That's why Planned Parenthood has partnered with MTV, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to sponsor the GYT  Get Yourself Tested campaign.

GYT encourages young adults aged 1524 to get themselves tested. With one in two Americans contracting an STD by the age of 25, it’s important that we all work together to reduce this staggering statistic and make sure our young adults stay healthy.