Mission America

Christian Commentary on the Culture

Ohio GOP Decides No Funds for School Abstinence Lessons

Linda Harvey

Republicans in Ohio hold a super-majority in the state legislature, and yet the recently passed two year budget contains little or nothing for abstinence-until-marriage sex education in Ohio schools.

So the admirable efforts of the nine organizations comprising the Ohio Adolescent Health Centers, serving tens of thousands of students each year (over 500,000 since 2016) will be severely curtailed unless Republicans can find a way to come up with the funding these groups were counting on.

The last time abstinence programs suffered such a drastic cut was under Democrat Governor Ted Strickland. Are we now Republicrats?

There's a lot of finger pointing about how this fell through the cracks. It certainly was not a priority of the Ohio House under the leadership of Speaker Jason Stephens. Pro-abortion Democrats like minority leader Allison Russo are surely cheering.

But fall through the cracks it did. The final version of the budget went through the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Matt Dolan, who is running for U.S. Senate. Does chairman Dolan not understand this is a huge priority of parents in Ohio? Is he that out of touch? He might be reminded that Ohio Revised Code 3313.6011 requires authentically abstinence-focused sex education (not phony condom-centered, hook-up advocating “we mention the word abstinence once” programs).

Not only should abstinence have been funded at the levels of previous years, these efforts should be granted a sizeable increase. The forces of Planned Parenthood and the “LGBTQ” sexual radicals desperate to get in front of our children (the earlier the better) need to be stopped in their tracks.

Despite the Ohio Revised Code requirement, numerous Ohio school districts ignore the law and present obscene, pro-abortion lessons to students every year and even try to pretend these teach “abstinence.” Here’s an example: Columbus City Schools has a Planned Parenthood program called “Get Real” in 12 middle schools, funded through the federal government via Nationwide Children’s Hospital. These lessons present a false, high-risk message promoting gender so-called “change” and support homosexual and bisexual behaviors in great detail.

Again, these lessons are given to middle schoolers. Yet Columbus City claims to be “compliant” under the recently required sex education audit of the Ohio Department of Education. (See our review of these findings HERE).

Ohio children deserve a clear, uncompromised abstinence message in their schools, along with the strong values- centered lessons that the Ohio sexual risk avoidance (abstinence) programs also deliver: knowledge about the option of adoption, responsible information about substance abuse, bullying, dating violence, human trafficking, etc.

There is a solution: create a dedicated department in the governor’s office, where education administration now resides (another result of the budget bill). This is totally possible because it’s been done before in Ohio. A department devoted to abstinence education existed under former Governor George Voinovich in the Ohio Department of Health. So now, Governor Mike DeWine has the authority to establish this function again, assigning undesignated funds in the new Department of Education and Workforce. And Lt. Governor Jon Husted, who wants to be the next governor, could also take up this worthy cause and secure funding.

Will they? Will the teachers in these programs be forced to seek employment elsewhere, and then Ohio schools lose their valuable experience while funding is found—if it is? The budget contains over $8 billion annually for Ohio K-12 education. Surely there are funds that could be allocated to help children understand the value of sexual abstinence.

At least $3 million a year needs to be allocated to these programs to serve just over 50,000 students a year.Actually, much more than that is needed. Many Ohio children never hear the positive message that, yes, you can wait until you are married for a sexual relationship, that “hook-ups” are never “safer sex.” They should learn instead that waiting until marriage is most often associated with other positive academic and life outcomes.

Can’t we do this for our children?

Please call the Governor’s office at (614) 466-3555 and make our wishes clear and also, call Jon Husted’s office at (614) 633-6453.

You may also want to call Senator Matt Huffman’s office, (614) 466-7584. He’s the Ohio Senate Majority leader. Why couldn’t funds be found for abstinence lessons? And how can he help now?

And you might want to remember how little Senator Matt Dolan thought of positive family education for Ohio’s children when considering him for U.S. Senate. Call his office at (614) 466-8056. Maybe he can also reconsider his negligence and come up with a solution.

In the meantime, you may want to donate to these groups to help cover their funding shortfall. Learn more HERE.