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    Contact Information:

    Abstinence Education Program
    Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Section
    Texas Department of State Health Services
    PO BOX 149347, MC 1925
    Austin, Texas 78756


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Legislative Compliance


Definition of Medical Accuracy

Medical accuracy is defined as medical information that is verified or supported by the weight of research conducted in compliance with accepted scientific methods and published in peer-reviewed journals where applicable, or is comprised of information that leading professional organizations and agencies with relevant expertise in the field recognize as accurate, objective, and complete. Teaching value-based perspectives is permissible under this statute. However, information may not be presented as factual when it reflects a value or opinion instead of fact. This statement pertains to any materials presented or distributed by the DSHS abstinence education program.

Section 317 of the Public Health Act

Mass produced educational materials that are specifically designed to address sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STDs/STIs) are required by section 317P(c)(2) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. §247b-17(c)(2)) to contain medically accurate information regarding the effectiveness or lack of effectiveness of condoms in preventing the STDs/STIs the materials are designed to address. In general, information on contraceptives, if included, must be medically accurate and should include information on the effectiveness or lack of effectiveness of the type of contraception discussed in the curriculum.

Religious Restrictions

Neither the state nor any of its sub-awardees may use federal or matching funds under this award to support inherently religious activities, including, but not limited to, religious instruction, worship, prayer, or proselytizing (45 CFR part 87). This statement pertains to any materials presented or distributed by the DSHS abstinence education program.

Sections 510(b)(2) Considerations

Programs may determine the relative emphasis to place on each of the A-H components of Section 510(b)(2). Regardless of program, no funds can be used in ways that contradict the A-H provisions. This statement pertains to any materials presented or distributed by the DSHS abstinence-centered education program. Abstinence education programs as defined by A-H means an educational program which:

a. Has as its exclusive purpose, teaching the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity;
b. Teaches abstinence from sexual activity outside marriage as the expected standard for all school-age children;
c. Teaches that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems;
d. Teaches that a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the expected standard of human sexual activity;
e. Teaches that sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects
f. Teaches that bearing children out-of-wedlock is likely to have harmful consequences for the child, the child's parents, and society;
g. Teaches young people how to reject sexual advances and how alcohol and drug use increase vulnerability to sexual advances; and
h. Teaches the importance of attaining self-sufficiency before engaging in sexual activity.
Sections 510(b)(2) Considerations

Rider 53. Funding for Abstinence Education

It is the intent of the Legislature that funds appropriated in Strategy A.3.3, Abstinence Education, be utilized for the purpose of implementing abstinence sexual education programs to reduce the need for future family planning services for unwed minors. Any Federal Funds received by the agency for abstinence education are appropriated to the agency for this purpose. Abstinence education means materials and instruction which:

a. Present abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior for unmarried persons; and
b. Emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity, used consistently and correctly, is the only method that is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, and infection with human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
Rider 53.

Funds appropriated in Strategy A.3.3, Abstinence Education, must be used to implement sexual education programs that must comply with each of the A-H components of the abstinence education program under Section 510(b)(2), Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 710(b)).

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Last updated July 17, 2015