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August 24, 2010 Print

Citizen Action Prompts HHS to Release Abstinence Survey

by Chad Hills

Thanks to a flurry of citizen action, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was prompted to release the National Survey of Adolescents and Their Parents: Attitudes and Opinions about Sex and Abstinence – Final Report to the public late yesterday (8-23-2010).

HHS had previously withheld the survey data, even after a doctor and researcher submitted a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request that the survey be released. It took hundreds of citizens, submitting hundreds of FOIAs before HHS finally relented. This further emphasizes the impact that you, as a citizen, can make! Thank you!

What did this survey find?

Among other important discoveries, about 70 percent of parents agreed that it is “against [their] values for [their] adolescents to have sexual intercourse before marriage” and that “having sexual intercourse is something only married people should do.” Adolescents had similar responses.

How interesting, as this is the fundamental message in most abstinence-centered programs. Are you becoming as concerned as I am?

Important Questions

  • Why the lack of transparency from our Administration regarding this survey?
  • Why were the results of this publicly funded national survey being withheld from the public, researchers and policymakers?
  • Would this information have impacted the Obama Administration’s – and Members of Congress’ – decision to remove federal funding of abstinence education programs?
  • Is our elected, “representative” form of government truly reflecting the desires of its constituents in this instance?
  • Should funding for abstinence education be re-introduced into the next fiscal budget?

You, the citizens of this nation, deserve answers to these questions. But it’s likely you’ll have to demand answers from this Administration.



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  • Dennis

    This administration has no concern whatsoever for the moral well-being of its people.

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