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January 24, 2008

Arizona Governor Rejects Abstinence-Only Funding

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano said the state will reject federal funding for abstinence-only programs and will only accept money that can be used to provide sex education, contraceptives and sexually transmitted disease screenings for community college students, reports the Arizona Daily Star (azstarnet.com, 1/24).

“While we all support 'abstinence only' and don't believe, in particular, teenagers ought to be engaging in sexual relations of that sort, the fact of the matter is, some do,” said Napolitano. “They need to have complete information for their own health, for their own bodies.”

The governor said she has accepted federal funds to support abstinence-only education in the past “to see whether it worked”; however, she cited recent studies revealing abstinence-only programs did not stop youth from having sex.

The Daily Star reports Napolitano wrote a letter to federal health officials rejecting future funds, saying she would only accept money that “strongly promotes abstinence” if it can also be used for “a curriculum that provides comprehensive and medically accurate sexuality education.”


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