Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
-- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded an $800,000 grant to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) for abstinence education programs for youth.
The money will be used to develop and implement abstinence education programs for young people ages 12 to 18.
“When adolescents become sexually active, it can have negative effects on their physical and emotional health,” said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. “These grants create an environment within communities that supports teens in their decision to remain abstinent until marriage.”
Abstinence education programs are designed as an intervention to reduce the number of adolescents who engage in premarital sexual activity and, consequently, the number of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. The programs also encourage youth to avoid other behaviors associated with early sexual involvement, such as alcohol and drug use.
“South Carolina’s children are our greatest resource,” said Graham. “We must continue to encourage and educate them to make sound decisions affecting their future.”