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Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly

Abstract

Teenage sexual activity has important health and fiscal implications for the United States. In response to this, Congress has in the past increased federal funding for abstinence-only education programs. These federally funded abstinence-only education programs stress abstinence as the only viable option for teenagers and provide no information on other methods of contraception. Congress in the new term must decide whether to reauthorize funds for these abstinence-only programs. This Article reviews the history of how these abstinence-only programs acquired federal backing, the methods employed by these abstinence-only programs, and whether these abstinence- only programs are effective. This Article argues that Congress has an ethical and fiscal duty to not waste funds on programs that do not effectively and responsibly address the current crisis in adolescent reproductive health.

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