In 1996, Congress authorized $50 million annually for five years to promote abstinence education. This funding was established through a new formula grant program authorized under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996. The funding became available to states in 1998 and is administered by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. States must provide $3 in matching funds for every $4 in federal funds, resulting in a total of up to $87.5 million available annually for such state programs. Abstinence education programs funded through this new grant program teach an unambiguous abstinence message to youth. Programs receiving these abstinence education funds may not endorse or promote contraceptive use.
This report presents interim findings from an independent, federally funded evaluation of the abstinence education programs authorized under PRWORA and defined under Title V, Section 510 (b)(2)(A-H) of the Social Security Act. This report draws most heavily on four years of implementation experiences in a selected group of abstinence education programs funded under Section 510. Later reports from the evaluation will present estimates of short- and longer-term program impacts, as well as studies on special topic areas.