This informational bulletin from the Connecticut Catholic Conference was received at FIC’s office last week:

The ACLU has launched a “Not In My State” campaign to pressure state governments to reject federal abstinence education funds. The State of Connecticut is one of those states. Looking at our State government’s poor record on promoting abstinence education, it is doubtful the State will stand up to the pressure. Unlike Connecticut, the State of Massachusetts has just announced the implementation of its Abstinence Education Project, which is aimed at reducing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and lowering the teen birth rate. The program will be using the federal funds that the ACLU wants Connecticut to reject.

Fortunately, in Connecticut Catholic Charities receives substantial federal funds to teach abstinence education in public and private schools. In 2005, Catholic Charities ran programs in eight of Connecticut’s major cities. Also, other organizations, such as Carolyn’s Place in Waterbury, help provide abstinence education to many public and private school students across the State.

The ACLU, along with other various groups, such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL, advocate for comprehensive sex education. This also appears to be the path supported by the Connecticut Departments of Health and Education. Last year a hearing was held on a bill calling for a study of abstinence education in our State. This bill was killed in committee. Local school districts currently are free to establish their own sexuality education programs. However, advocates of comprehensive sex education are hoping to establish mandatory guidelines and requirements for this type of sex education. The debate over abstinence education versus comprehensive sex education is sure to occur again in the public arena within our State. Many of those opposed to abstinence education call it a “just say no” program. In reality it is much more, addressing and focusing on many aspects of a young person’s personality, not just the physical and sexual dimensions. Parents of all school aged children should be aware of this movement within our State, and its possible effects on their child’s development. You may wish to study this issue more and discuss it with local school officials and your elected representatives. The emotional and physical wellbeing of our teenagers is at risk.

We will keep our members updated on this issue. For more information on abstinence education click here.

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