This report assesses the result of an extensive study of the abstinence-only-until-marriage programs In New York that received federal funding through 2006. Since1998, New York has received $3.5 million a year for abstinence-only education, and the state had spent an additional $2.6 million annually on it over the past decade. After reviewing more than 33,000 pages of state and federal documents from 39 funded programs, the NYCLU concluded that ab-only programs across the state contain serious medical inaccuracies and fear-based approaches to health issues that demonstrate bias against LGBT persons and engage in negative gender stereotyping. In many cases ab-only programs redirected money to other after-school activities not directly related to sex education, relied on instructors with no training or expertise as educators, and were neither required (nor self-motivated) to engage in evaluation of program effectiveness. In addition, 53 % of abstinence program funding goes to religious groups without real safeguards against the incorporation of religious content in ab-only programming: religious content was in fact included in the programming of some of these groups. On September 20, 2007, New York State Department of Health Commissioner Richard Daines announced that New York would no longer accept federal abstinence-until-marriage-or-death funding. Since 1998, New York has received $3.5 million a year for abstinence-only programming, and the state had spent an additional $2.6 million annually on it over the past decade. That money will now be used for actual sex education programming, according to Commissioner Daines, whose statement can be found in the Resource Bank here.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy challenges barriers to the rights and health of people affected by HIV through legal advocacy, high-impact policy initiatives, and creation of cross-issue partnerships, networks, and resources. We support movement building that amplifies the power of individuals and communities to mobilize for change that is rooted in racial, gender, and economic justice.