Statement by State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines

Statement by State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines

Albany, September 20, 2007 - The Bush administration's Abstinence Only Program is an example of a failed national health-care policy directive, based on ideology rather than on sound scientific-based evidence that must be the cornerstone of good public health-care policy.

In keeping with the Governor Spitzer's progressive health-care agenda for New York, on July 2nd the department cancelled all existing abstinence only contracts under the federal Title V program that began under the previous administration. Earlier this year, the department made a conscious decision not to reapply for funds under this program due to the increasingly rigid federal standards imposed on New York and other states that were contrary to our commitment to fully educate adolescents about the risks associated with sexual behavior.

Beginning October 1, 2007, New York is redirecting state funds to expand comprehensive sexuality education in schools and other community settings that will provide teens with medically accurate information and life skills to equip them with the necessary tools that they need to make the crucial healthy life choices needed for a healthy adulthood.