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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


    Email comments or questions

Abstinence Education Program


Abstinence Education Program

Rider 53. Funding for Abstinence Sexual Education. It is the intent of the Legislature that funds appropriated in Strategy A.3.3, 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:

  1. Present abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior for unmarried persons; and
  2. 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.

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)).

Section 510 of the Social Security Act (A-H Requirements)

Federal funds for state abstinence education programs are authorized and appropriated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Affordable Care Act), which amends section 510 of the Social Security Act.

For purposes of this section, the term “abstinence education” means an educational or motivational program which:

Has as its exclusive purpose, teaching the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity;

  1. Teaches abstinence from sexual activity outside marriage as the expected standard for all school age children;
  2. 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;
  3. Teaches that a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the expected standard of human sexual activity;
  4. Teaches that sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects;
  5. Teaches that bearing children out-of-wedlock is likely to have harmful consequences for the child, the child’s parents, and society;
  6. Teaches young people how to reject sexual advances and how alcohol and drug use increases vulnerability to sexual advances; and
  7. Teaches the importance of attaining self-sufficiency before engaging in sexual activity.

Implementation Strategies:

Direct Service Contracts

Direct service contracts target high risk youth in grades 5-12 with abstinence interventions that include:

  • Effective, medically accurate, abstinence education curricula
  • Opportunity to engage in service learning projects
  • Opportunity to participate in the Texas Youth Leadership Summits

Conferences and Training

Two annual conferences focus on a youth development approach in addressing at risk behaviors and how positive youth development programming can tackle these issues.

Trainings and presentations are offered upon request for school districts, community groups, faith-based groups, non-profits, and coalitions.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

DSHS provides trainings and curricula materials to school districts that choose the Heritage Keepers curriculum through their local School Health Advisory Council.  DSHS provides training for districts through a contract with the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio as well as a regional training network.

 Available Resources

Targeted abstinence resources are available upon request for students in grades 5th – 12th and parents.





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Last updated November 06, 2015