HHS Encourages Parents To Discuss Abstinence With Their Children

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HHS on Thursday at an event in Kansas City, Mo., launched a campaign that encourages parents to talk to their children about remaining abstinent until marriage, the Associated Press reports. The campaign will receive $8.5 million annually and includes television, radio and print public service announcements, as well as the Web site 4parents.gov to assist parents in initiating a discussion with their children on the topic, Dan Schneider, acting assistant secretary for HHS' Administration for Children and Parents, said.

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The campaign has received a commitment to run for at least two years, the Associated Press reports. The ads aim to reach parents of children ages 10 to 13 and are scheduled to start airing near the beginning of the school year. Some of the television ads are designed for general audiences, while others are tailored to blacks and Hispanics, Schneider said. HHS has joined with three national community outreach centers to help raise awareness about the campaign within black, Hispanic and American Indian communities, the Associated Press reports.

"Encouraging parents to speak to their children about sex and share their values so that kids can make informed decisions and know the facts ... is something that I hope everybody can support," Schneider said. John Agwunobi, assistant secretary for health, said, "During my time as a pediatrician and a public health official, I've learned that parents often need additional tools when dealing with tough issues facing their children," adding that the program is providing the tools to encourage "parents if they are worried about how to go about having conversations with their children" (Associated Press, 6/21).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyWomen's Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for emaildelivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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