Cardinal to Congress: Fund Abstinence Programs

Says Alternative Will Victimize American Youth

WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 10, 2007 ( Cardinal Justin Rigali has urged the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committees to maintain funding levels for abstinence education for youth.

In his letter to the committees as they consider the upcoming fiscal year, Cardinal Rigali, the archbishop of Philadelphia and chairman of the U.S. bishops’ committee for pro-life activities, explained that “authentic abstinence education has provided a valuable alternative to programs that accept and facilitate premarital sexual activity.”

Cardinal Rigali said there are at least 500 abstinence programs serving many thousands of young people throughout the country.

“These programs form character and educate our youth about the decisions they face, empowering them to make healthy choices that do not jeopardize their health and future,” he stated.

By one estimate, for every $1 the federal government spends on abstinence education, it spends $12 on “safe sex” and contraceptive programs.