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Updated: McDonnell applies for abstinence-only education grant

Anita Kumar

Despite being lobbied heavily by Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia,
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) applied for a federal grant to teach abstinence-only education instead of comprehensive sex education in Virginia schools.

The $1.3-million grant application includes $900,000 from the federal government and $400,000 from the state. McDonnell will include the state's match in his proposed budget to the General Assembly in December.

Localities remain free to choose which type of education they want for their schools. The grant the governor is applying for will only supplement districts if they choose.

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and other groups had asked supporters to contact McDonnell to urge him to apply for money for the Personal Responsibility Education Program that would include information about disease and pregnancy prevention as well as abstinence.

Update, noon: Planned Parenthood responds. "Given Virginia's economic situation, wasting $400,000 of taxpayer money for an ineffective program is not a good use of the commonwealth's limited resources," said Jessica Honke, director of public policy. "The simple fact is that young people deserve honest information, not political ideology in their health classrooms."

2 p.m. The Family Foundation responds. "We are pleased that Governor McDonnell has applied for funding that will help effective and widely supported abstinence centered programs be available to Virginia's public schools,'' said Victoria Cobb, the group's president. "Despite the rhetoric from the economic loser in this decision, Planned Parenthood, recent studies have shown that abstinence education effectively helps teens postpone risky sexual behavior."

The Obama administration recently made money available for the sex education program without requiring a state match. In previous years, the only money available was for the abstinence-only program that included a state match.

More than 20 states, including Virginia, had rejected abstinence-only funding in the past because of a state match requirement.

McDonnell spokeswoman Stacey Johnson said the governor's latest decision is consistent with his past decision. In previous years, McDonnell protested when former Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine cut abstinence-only funding for the state, accusing him of ignoring state-sponsored studies that show abstinence-only education works.

McDonnell could have applied for both grants, or neither of them, this year. The deadline to apply was Monday.

By Anita Kumar  |  August 31, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , House of Delegates , Robert F. McDonnell , State Senate , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Comments

Wow, what a principled conservative McDonnell is! He wants to spend federal money on making sure the government has a say in every sexual encounter in the state of Virginia. Why can't conservatives leave people alone and let them live their lives, condoms and all? I'm sure if a liberal was governor and requested federal money for science education, McDonnell would be up in arms over this waste in spending, but making sure hormone-filled teenagers don't act like hormone-filled teenagers is a worthy use of tax dollars. Good for you Bob, making sense as usual.

Posted by: switzerchris | August 31, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Wow, what a principled conservative McDonnell is! He wants to spend federal money on making sure the government has a say in every sexual encounter in the state of Virginia. Why can't conservatives leave people alone and let them live their lives, condoms and all? I'm sure if a liberal was governor and requested federal money for science education, McDonnell would be up in arms over this waste in spending, but making sure hormone-filled teenagers don't act like hormone-filled teenagers is a worthy use of tax dollars. Good for you Bob, making sense as usual.

Posted by: switzerchris | August 31, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Presumably, as part of the deal, they'll be issuing chastity belts, and hiring trucks with loudspeakers to roll through the back roads on Saturday nights, blaring, "CUT THAT OUT!" at high volume.

Posted by: Gunga2009 | August 31, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

just how much redder can the necks in ole virginie get?

abstinence-only only sure did a great job for bristol palin.
But hey, it got her on dancing with the stars!

So congrats Virginia, may all your 15 year old girls be pregnant and barefoot and kept in the kitchen cooking food for their man.

Posted by: MarilynManson | August 31, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if coo-coo-for cocoapuffs Cuccinelli is going to issue a subpeona for information on whether or not McDonnell swindled and defrauded taxpayers for this grant, which he surely must believe is not based in scentific fact?

Posted by: swatkins1 | August 31, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Why am I not surprised that these conservative, small-government, republicans are willing to let the federal government dictate the sexual mores of VA youth. Of course, the repubs have always been more willing to dictate morals to everyone instead of supporting programs that might actually HELP people.

Posted by: juliagraffam | August 31, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

It would be significantly more efficient and just as effective as far as reducing STD and teen pregnancy rates if we literally burned the funds. Maybe the heat could power a rural home for a bit.

Posted by: joshlct | August 31, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Meh, muchado about nothing in regards to a conservative applying for abstinence-only education grants. But why not both?

Now, as it is up to the locality to implement... choice to accept the money and limit education is available.

So, why would a fiscally responsible governor not apply for both grants, which would allow their localities greater choice in education, greater choice in funding?

Why not both?

Posted by: Greent | August 31, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Ther goes Gov Mc Muffin once again-Wasting the taxpayers money on something that dosen't work-every teeager in the state of VA, not to mention most adults must be rolling with laughter with Gov McMuffins latest antics!!!

Posted by: soccerhead | August 31, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

FRom the looks of some of these comments, it looks like some guys are really gonna be PO'd that someone might tell the girls that you don't need to drop and spread em for anyone. Save yourself for Mr. Special.
It ok to say no.

Posted by: tjmlrc | August 31, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Sarah Palin's daughter can be the poster child for abstinence only sex-education. Why Ms. Palin, because Mrs. Palin claims to have the corner on family Values market, as well as restoring America's honor. I would imagine that we all would practice what we preach. Not using all available dollars will cost Virginians money out of their own pocket with unmarried births, loss of education funding, etc. Virginia must be flush with money. (sic)

Posted by: patmatthews | August 31, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I would prefer a math and science program over scoring political points with the base.

Posted by: ASKENNEDY | August 31, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Anybody notice how right wingers are focused on sex? Not just sometimes. Every blasted minute. And it isn't participatory sex. It is other people's behavior that interests them. God Almighty put a sex drive in everybody and the Gov. of Va. is elected to extinguish it. His message is muddled, too. Just say NO! If that doesn't work and you get pregnant, forget about any form of abortion because that clump of cells has a soul put there by God. Who are you to snuff it out? That's the sanctity of life. The same rule doesn't apply in theater. Our troopers are put there by our elected betters to snuff out life wholesale.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | August 31, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

All of these commenters saying the federal government will have a role in educating our youth apparently missed the part where localities still have control over whether to take the funds or not. He's absolutely right to let counties and municipalities decide things for themselves, instead of dictating things from Richmond.

Posted by: Simon23p | August 31, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Way to go Bob. At what age are you supposed to get married (15? 16?) and start having say, seven(!) kids?

Posted by: usblues1 | August 31, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

As Bob Barker used to say, "help control the pet population, have your pets spayed or neutered." Too bad we can't do that with most of you liberals posting on here.

Posted by: Jsuf | August 31, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Thus is the state of living in "Occupied Virgina"! Right wing nutters trying to legislate morality. Stick to fixing the roads, OK?

Posted by: fluxgirl | August 31, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

There is no need to have your pets spayed or neutered. Just say "no"! It works better too if you wag your finger at the same time.

Posted by: usblues1 | August 31, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Most of those commenting here obviously don't know anything about abstinence education. So all we get are ignorant statements about sex and the government in your bedroom.
Truth is these programs have evidence of effectiveness in delaying sexual debut, decreasing parters and increasing norms favorable to marriage. The studies are peer- reviewed and published for those who care to know the REAL facts. Look to abstinenceworks.org for the well documented studies. AE is a holistic approach that educates about sex in context of the whole person- more than just plumbing. And yes they do discuss contraception methods along with the realistic limitations and benefits. Hats off to the Governor who did not let extreme teen sex advocacy groups deter his efforts!

Posted by: winningwell | August 31, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Why would any funds be necessary. Conservatives are all great supporters of the community and moral experts. Why can't the school districts just ask for volunteers to tech the classes. A notice could be sent out calling for all of the folks who did not have sex until after they were married to step forward and assist with classroom training for those who might be tempted to have sex. get those family value folks out talking to the teenagers and sex would be a thing of the past. If for some reason enough virgin till married volunteers can't be found maybe some almost virgin till married volunteers would be available.

Posted by: vw52 | August 31, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

But wait! Old MacDonald is against taking federal money for anything! Let him ask Big Daddy Pat Robertson to fund his stupid program, which is designed to get girls pregnant and keep them in the kitchen where they, according to HIS theology, belong. Don't forget his anti-women Master's thesis. Working women are the downfall of the world. Unless they work for him, as his wifey and daughters do.

What a hypocrite.

Posted by: ecassel1 | August 31, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

But wait! Old MacDonald is against taking federal money for anything! Let him ask Big Daddy Pat Robertson to fund his stupid program, which is designed to get girls pregnant and keep them in the kitchen where they, according to HIS theology, belong. Don't forget his anti-women Master's thesis. Working women are the downfall of the world. Unless they work for him, as his wifey and daughters do.

What a hypocrite.

Posted by: ecassel1 | August 31, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Too bad,McDonald's mom didn't service his dad in a different manner9 months before he was born . VA would have been much better off.

Posted by: almelbe | August 31, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

How about using the money to repair roads instead of wasting it on a futile effort to indoctrinate kids. Unless you're a hermit, you'll realize that most kids already know what they need to about sexuality before they hit junior high. It's naive to suggest that lecturing them on family values will have more than a superficial effect on what they do with that knowledge. It's time to get government out of backseats and bedrooms and onto something productive.

Posted by: Tom-Fairfax | August 31, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone advocate for the position that results in the greatest amount of federal funding and the greatest number of choices for localities?

Didn't think so.

Posted by: blasmaic | August 31, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

@tjmlrc: Why do you assume a non abstinence-only curriculum doesn't cover abstinence? Check the syllabus! Any responsible program will teach boys and girls that the ONLY way to guarantee you DO NOT contract an STD or become pregnant is NOT to have sex. Failing that, there are steps you can take to limit the chance of either or both happening to you or your partner. As you said, it's perfectly OK to say no.

As others have said, it's ridiculous to think that's your only option.

Posted by: jchaiken | August 31, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he thinks abstinence only will work out as well as it did for Bristol Palin and Jamie Lynn Spears and anyone from the case of MTV's Teen Moms.

Posted by: mssnatchquatch | August 31, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

We are all here, because our parents had sex, and probably a little whiskey. The job of government is not to control our daily lives, but to offer options to living. The entire conservative movement is laced with religious hypocrites.

The money will be spent, and young people will continue to have sex, some will get pregnant and some will spread disease. Some will have an abortion, and some will have an unwanted child most likely raised in poverty.

The Governor obviously does not understand
that when you do stupid things, you get stupid results. The shame is that he is wasting tax payer money trying to force his narrow minded religious views on the residents of Virginia.

Posted by: COWENS99 | August 31, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I say free abortions for all liberals. Get out of our gene pool.
Thanks.

Posted by: englundc | August 31, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

winningwell:
"Look to abstinenceworks.org for the well documented studies."

Uh huh. Now do you have an unbiased source?

"Hats off to the Governor who did not let extreme teen sex advocacy groups deter his efforts!"

Sex Ed classes are now extreme teen sex advocacy groups?

Posted by: presto668 | August 31, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Study after study has shown that abstinence-only education is less effective than more comprehensive programs that include abstinence as contraceptive method. The problem with abstinence-only sex education is that it ignores the reality of the very persuasive combination - sex drive and thousands of nerve endings - that we all have. The less you teach teens about contraception, the more likely they are to learn about it from other less reliable sources (internet, friends) and use that information in their sexual activities.

I remember a small group of classmates whose parents wouldn't allow them to receive the contraceptive part of Sex Ed. They had to get babysitters for Prom Night

Posted by: damascuspride04 | August 31, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back to the 18th century. For this he'll take Federal money.

Posted by: jckdoors | August 31, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

So, Planned Parenthood is an "extreme teen sex advocacy group"? That's funny, I've been a member for 30 years - but I sent my son to college with the strong message to "WRAP IT UP." Then again, those who view PP that way would have no problem bombing a PP clinic - or bombing my car if I had a PP sticker on it.

Posted by: smc0047 | August 31, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

So, Planned Parenthood is an "extreme teen sex advocacy group"? That's funny, I've been a member for 30 years - but I sent my son to college with the strong message to "WRAP IT UP." Then again, those who view PP that way would have no problem bombing a PP clinic - or bombing my car if I had a PP sticker on it.

Posted by: smc0047 | August 31, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I tell you between McDonnell and Cuchinelli (sp?), VA is becoming more and more back-woods!!

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | August 31, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I tell you between McDonnell and Cuchinelli (sp?), VA is becoming more and more back-woods!!

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | August 31, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Instead of worrying about who's having sex with whom, maybe the governor could concentrate on, say, FIXING THE STATE'S COMPUTER SYSTEMS so that Virginians can actually get their drivers licenses renewed.

Posted by: heartprivacy | August 31, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I really really hate this state!!! I am moving to Maryland.

Posted by: question-guy | August 31, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

*sigh*

Love my state, hate my governor(s). Am I the only one getting visions of Bush/Cheney in my mind's eye whenever McDonnell and Coo-coo get wound up? These two didn't enter their offices with visions, but with a stone-carved manifesto. Naturally, they don't give a crap about what's actually going on right here, right now--they're too busy blindly bull-dozing their way toward their own very, very personal goals.

Just remember, folks, the people advocating abstinence-ONLY "education" are the same ones claiming that contraceptive use by married couples causes divorce.

*louder sigh*

Posted by: EdgewoodVA | August 31, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Bwahhaaahaahhaahhhaahhhaaaaa!!!!!
Abstinence education! If a student earns an "A" in the course, but later succumbs and has sex outside of marriage, can the "A" be removed from his/her permanent record??? LOL!!!

Posted by: DecafDrinker | August 31, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Bobby Mc should ask the 'Mama Grizzley' how this worked out for her???? I guess when you have a GOP governor you should expect to live the the stone age. VA voters, you got what you voted for -- Bobby Mc and Ken the idiot. Please think about this when you get to vote again for state leadership.

Posted by: kinsman_bob | August 31, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Recent studies have shown only a modest delay in sexual activity among those in "abstinence-only" programs.

However, they've shown a slightly better understanding of the protective benefits of different contraceptive methods against disease. "Abstinence-only" graduates were more likely to note which methods prevented which diseases.

Additionally the studies have shown "abstinence-only" programs to have identical usage rates of contraception.

So you have two programs:
- An "abstinence-only" model in which students don't delay sex or change their sexual or contraceptive behavior, but understand their behaviors are risky.
- A "comprehensive" model in which shows similar or worse outcomes, but suggest the risks are not as severe and/or promote contraception as a nearly-perfect fix.

Between the two the "abstinence-only" model would seem the best choice.

According to recent studies that is.

Posted by: cprferry | September 1, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

"So congrats Virginia, may all your 15 year old girls be pregnant and barefoot and kept in the kitchen cooking food for their man.

Posted by: MarilynManson"

Yeah, because abortion and contraception hasn't left women abused, battered, maimed, scarred and even killed for not relenting to their boyfriend's or parents' plans.

Abortion and contraception are merely more tools for the powerful to exploit people. They facilitate and encourage removing what one should enter with love and concern for partner and allow selfishness a foothold. They do not equalize the playing field for the genders. They do not represent freedom. They add a gun to a knife fight.

Posted by: cprferry | September 1, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

"I sent my son to college with the strong message to "WRAP IT UP."
Posted by: smc0047"

So have many parents and school districts. Now the college-aged population is showing high or even record rates of STDs, abortions, pregnancies, porn addictions and suicides.

I hope your son has been spared the misery that has befallen so many of his generation.

Posted by: cprferry | September 1, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

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