New Hampshire’s Executive Council rejects funding for sex education program

Three Republicans on New Hampshire’s Executive Council held the majority vote to reject funding for a sex education program outside of school for adolescents that aims to reduce teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

The vote was 3-2 against the program on Tuesday, with Republican Councilor Janet Stevens joining Democrat Cinde Warmington voting for the $682,000 in funding.

The council has approved the contract in the past. Councilors raised concerns this year about parents not having enough of a say in the program.

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The program would have served nearly 1,000 people in Manchester and in the Claremont/Sullivan County area, both identified as having the highest teen birth rates in the state, Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette said.

New Hampshire's Executive Council voted to reject funding for a sex education program outside of schools.

New Hampshire’s Executive Council voted to reject funding for a sex education program outside of schools.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is “actively working” to determine how to deliver federal funds to the program, a spokesperson from her office said in an email.

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In July, the council rejected for the fourth time in less than a year family planning contracts that would have funded cancer screenings, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and other routine health care services. Republican councilors previously had raised concerns that public money would pay for abortions and continued to vote no even after audit reports confirmed that funds were not commingled.

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