Abstinence Education Under Welfare Reform
Provisions to Combat Rising Out-of-Wedlock Birth
Rates, Welfare Reform Conference Report on H.R. 3734
Cash welfare block grant
Creates a $100 billion cash welfare block grant for states
to use to "prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies,"
among other purposes.
Requires state plans to establish goals and take action to
prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies, with special
attention on teenage pregnancies, and establish numerical goals for reducing
the illegitimacy ration of the state for calendar years 1996 through 2005.
Added grants for reducing out-of-wedlock births
Provides added grants of up to $25 million annually for states
that are most successful in reducing the number of out-of-wedlock births
while reducing the rate of abortions.
States that are successful in reducing illegitimacy and strengthening
families are eligible for a share of a new $1 billion "performance bonus"
Allows any state to establish a family cap policy ending
the practice of increasing federal cash welfare benefits when mothers on
welfare have babies (the former provision setting a national cap from which
states could "opt-out" was deleted by the Byrd rule).
Combating teen pregnancy
Allows states flexibility on limiting cash welfare for unmarried
Requires teens to be in school and living at home with an
adult to receive assistance.
Allows states to use block grant funds to provide, or assist
in locating, adult-supervised living arrangements, such as second-chance
homes for teen mothers.
Added funds for abstinence education
Provides $50 million in directly appropriated funding for
each of fiscal years 1998 through 2002 for abstinence education.
Encouraging paternity establishment
Requires states to reduce cash welfare payments by at least
25 percent for families that include a parent who fails to cooperate in
establishing paternity or obtaining child support.
National goals to prevent teen pregnancy
Requires the secretary of HHS within 1 year to implement
a strategy for preventing teen pregnancies, ensuring that 25% of communities
have prevention programs.
Annual ranking of states and review regarding out-of-wedlock
Requires the secretary of Health and Human Services to rank
annually all states according to out-of-wedlock birth ratios and changes
in ratios over time and to review the five highest and five lowest ranking
Includes a section of findings on the crisis that out-of-wedlock
births pose for children, families, and the nation; states that an effective
strategy to combat teen pregnancy must address the issue of male responsibility,
including statutory rape culpability, and prevention.
and Bevan Paper
Abstinence Education Agenda